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Tales From The Family Crypt: When Aging Parents Die, Sibling Rivalry Lives Kindle Edition
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RATING: 4/5 STARS
Every family has some level of dysfunction. In Carroll’s memoir, she recounts the dysfunctional, toxic relationships between her siblings. In the middle of her book, I thought to myself, “It can’t get any worse” – but it did. As each of her elderly parents or in-laws die, the breakdown of communication between siblings continues to spiral downward. Carroll presented the difficulties of sibling rivalries, along with the anguish surrounding the deaths of her parents and in-laws. Many of her relatable stories made me laugh out loud, yet just as many made me shudder.
Under the stress of elders dying, dysfunctional families become even more verbally and emotionally destructive towards each other. The majority of people don’t even realize their toxic relationship with family members, because their behavior was considered normal and acceptable. Healthy, open communication is one of the cornerstones of family dynamics.
I’d recommend this book because it demonstrates all families grow up with some level of dysfunction, some more than others. I’d especially recommend Tales From The Family Crypt for someone who is dealing with the death of a close family member, since many underlying resentments begin to surface and it can be exasperating to deal with other family member’s reactions. Hopefully people will recognize dysfunctional family dynamics and correct them, before passing down the dysfunction to the next generation.
Carroll leads us through these relationships as they unfold in the traditional gatherings of families: birthdays, weddings, even funerals. We are carried through time in these real events with tears in our eyes or laughing out loud. This book describes the underside of family life. Turning over this rock, picking through these events that many, many families experience brings us all some relief. We are not the only ones.
If I had an issues with the book it was the last chapter in which Debby analyzes both sides of the family and what caused some of the dysfunction. IMO, such levels of dysfunction are not always "caused" by parents nor can they be cured by changing attitudes or tactics. Some people are just screwed up - and some people like it that way, including several of the key characters.
All in all an entertaining, enlightening book about a sad family and a portion of the family that was able to rise above the rest.