Drinking Closer to Home by Jessica Anya Blau
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After reading the first few chapters, I was sure I was going to hate this book. I got to the end, and I was sad. The story was crazy, the timelines were all over the place, the characters were... well, colorful to say the least. Once I adjusted to the timeline - really, just think of it as the way memories work: present and past. Present is linear, but remembering the past isn't. Memories happen at any time. I loved the characters, I think Emery was my favorite. I just loved this book!
Synopsis: They say you can never really go home again. Adult siblings Anna, Portia, and Emery are about to discover just how true that is.
From Publishers Weekly:
Blau's second novel (after The Summer of Naked Swim Parties) revolves around a family in crisis after a mother's debilitating heart attack. The troubled adult children of Buzzy and Louise come home to visit their parents on their hippie ranch in Santa Barbara, Cal., "where the days are so sunny you'd swear a nuclear reactor had exploded." Sisters Anna and Portia, and brother Emery, recall the events that led them to their restless present. Emery and his partner, Alejandro, tip-toe around the topic of asking a sister to donate eggs so that they can have a child. During their week-long visit everyone must deal with uncomfortable details about their parents' personal lives, as well as the ghosts of the people they once were, wishing that they could leave their childhood wounds behind once and for all. Blau writes funny, often heartbreaking, and always relatable anecdotes. She aptly describes the family visiting Louise in the hospital: "every day, a moment comes when someone can no longer take sitting in the beeping, stinking room." Blau's lifelike characters are such a joy to get to know that one feels sorry to leave them behind. (Jan.)
Skinny by Diana Spechler
Lean on Pete by Willy Vlautin
What He's Poised to Do by Ben Greenman
The Average American Male by Chad Kultgen
Flatscreen by Adam Wilson
The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol