Nuclear Family

Susanna Fogel. Holt, $25 (224p) ISBN 978-1-62779-793-1
Screenwriter and director Fogel offers a humorous, epistolary take on modern womanhood in her debut novel. Readers never actually meet Julie, who is a teenager at the novel’s opening and in her mid-30s at its conclusion, or hear her voice; they only learn about her through the letters (and emails) she receives over the years. Largely these are from her übermillennial younger sister, Jane, and their newly divorced parents, but Julie also receives missives from her straight-talking grandma, her closeted uncle, and a host of minor characters, including a handful of inanimate objects, from the family’s NordicTrack to her own cell phone. Each letter is introduced with a whimsical heading, some of which are as amusing as the letters themselves (“Your Dad, Who Doesn’t Understand Your Career Goals, Just Found Out You Got Fired”). Some characters come off as broad types (the mother who incessantly feels abandoned by her offspring, the father who disguises his criticisms as concerns), but Fogel’s novel offers plenty of glimpses—both humorous and endearing—into the life of a single woman with a well-meaning, if clueless, family. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2017
Release date: 07/18/2017
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-250-16523-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-2957-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-5384-2958-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-2956-3
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