This Is Us: The New American Family

David Marin. Exterminating Angel (Consortium, dist.), $16.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-935259-34-3
One night in early middle age, Marin, an accomplished media company executive, suddenly feels empty, realizing that skydiving and having hit three holes-in-one in his life will not keep him warm at night. In this tedious memoir, Marin imagines sitting alone and retired on a Carmel Valley porch watching families drive by on their way to barbecues. Stirred to action by this vision, Marin, who is half Puerto Rican and half Irish, sets out to adopt three Hispanic children who have cycled though the California foster care system. Marin piles story upon story—his first night with the children, the children's illnesses, their first trip to McDonald's—without reflecting deeply on the events or the larger meaning of these stories for him and his life. Marin finds the path to adopting his children full of obstacles—the continued postponement of adoption hearings, the haughty reactions of individuals to his situation of single father—yet he plods along, confident that the end of the journey will be worth the struggles. As the adoption process creeps along, he and his children, Javier, Adriana, and Craig, grow closer and develop the loving bonds of a family. However, Marin's sluggish prose and superficial narrative (he does not want to live alone on a Carmel Valley porch) hardly make for an inspiring read. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/06/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-935259-12-1
Paperback - 290 pages - 978-0-615-82209-9
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