Family Romance

Family Romance

A Love Story

Book - 2007
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Penguin Putnam
A memoir by the acclaimed novelist The Wall Street Journal called "blessed with a sense of history, a feeling for place, an observant eye for detail, and an elegant no-frills style."

In their particulars, the Lanchesters were not Every Family. The father was an international banker, the mother a former nun. Yet in the dynamic of family life, their patterns are instantly recognizable. The heart of that dynamic is a built-in tug-of-war: to a young child, a sense of loving protection becomes, as he matures, a set of barriers to be overcome. In his richly told story, John Lanchester brings this dynamic to life, and in the process makes us think about our own family story and about the legacy-emotional, social, intellectual-our parents pass on to us, generation to generation, the bitter with the best.

It was only when his mother died that Lanchester realized how little he really knew his parents. That, too, is in the nature of families: parents keep secrets from their children, and children are happy to acquiesce, not wanting to disturb their universe. But with Julie Lanchester's death-and the cache of papers and letters she left behind-Lanchester set out to reconstruct just who his parents had been. In doing so, he gained extraordinary insight into his own nature, and a deeper understanding of theirs. And because he has the wisdom to see the universal aspects of his story, Family Romance resonates for anyone who has ever felt the push-pull of family love.

Part detective work, part remarkable evocation of character, Family Romance is, above all, compelling storytelling.

Baker & Taylor
The author describes his atypical youth as the son of an international banker and former nun, the loving, protective family shell he needed to overcome in order to mature, and the secrets that overshadowed his parents' lives.

Blackwell North Amer
In their particulars, the Lanchesters were not Every Family. The father was an international banker, the mother a former nun. Yet in the dynamic that is family life, their patterns are immediately recognizable. The heart of that dynamic is a built-in tug-of-war: to a young child, a sense of loving protection becomes, as he matures, a set of barriers to be overcome. In his richly told story, John Lanchester brings this dynamic to life and in the process makes us think about our own family story and about the legacy - emotional, social, intellectual - our parents pass on to us, generation to generation, the bitter with the best.
It was only when his mother died that Lanchester realized how little he really knew his parents. That, too, is in the nature of families: parents keep secrets from their children, and children are happy to acquiesce, not wanting to disturb their universe. But with Julie Lanchester's death - and the cache of papers and letters she left behind - Lanchester set out to reconstruct just who his parents had been. In doing so, he gained extraordinary insight into his own nature and a deeper understanding of theirs. The daily irritations of close relationships fell away, replaced in their stead by a profound feeling of loss and love.
Because Lanchester has the wisdom (and wit) to see the universal aspects of his story, Family Romance resonates for anyone who has ever felt the push-pull of family love.

Baker
& Taylor

The prize-winning author of The Debt to Pleasure and Fragrant Harbor describes his atypical youth as the son of an international banker and former nun, the loving protective family shell he needed to overcome in order to mature, and the secrets that overshadowed his parents' lives.

Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, c2007
ISBN: 9780399153006
0399153004
Characteristics: 370 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

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empbee
Jan 31, 2016

Interesting life stories (like most families'.) The second part with the exotic locations is better than the first with its dry, long, boring letters.
The inserted psychological observations are irritating. More could be left to the readers' imagination.

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