cover image All About the Benjamins

All About the Benjamins

Zev Good. Zev Good, $16 trade paper (332p) ISBN 978-1-69343-454-9

A widower’s news upends a Jewish Atlanta family in this piercing drama from Good (A Map of the World). English professor Joel Benjamin decides to tell his adult children, Amy and Adam, that he’s gay as the first anniversary of his wife, Susan’s, death approaches. He chickens out, but the next day, Adam drops by unexpectedly and discovers Joel had spent the night with another man. Adam, who is also gay, lashes out at Joel at the thought of his father cheating on Susan while she was alive and years of Joel policing his masculinity, and cuts off contact with Joel. Amy is more supportive, but she’s busy coping with her precocious 15-year-old son, Ethan, and chilly relationship with her ex-husband. As the siblings fight about Joel’s infidelity during the unveiling of Susan’s headstone, Joel’s sister brusquely informs them all that Susan was also unfaithful during their marriage. Later, with the family still struggling to process these revelations, Joel has a heart attack, forcing the entire family to confront their emotional wounds. Good brings a steady, incisive gaze to the overlapping plots and each family member’s reminiscences. Fans of family sagas will enjoy this solid tale of unearthed family secrets. (Self-published)