There are no storybook families in these twelve wonderfully daring stories. Here you'll find parents, children, stepchildren, husbands, and wives - all normal families; all unforgettably real.
Lucia Nevai's twelve variations on normality place us in the company of characters created by a writer of uncommon talent. These portraits include: "Thanksgiving with Dorrie & Heck," in which a competitive family talent show leads to one teenager's visit to the emergency room; "Close," in which a family therapist en route to her brother's memorial service tries to heal her own fractured family by linking her hands spread across the map in an in-flight magazine; and "Normal," in which a young mother struggles to impress her estranged father with her new life during his first visit to his infant grandson.
From an urbane ex-hippie in Manhattan to a disabled war veteran in rural Louisiana, these characters never quite connect with the people they love most - they just don't get it. But, luckily for us, Lucia Nevai does, because in the midst of all the missed connections, something remarkable, and often very funny, happens. She gently strips away her characters' defenses, but never their dignity, showing us what it means to be a family.
Nothing in these twelve stories of missed connections is exactly what it seems. But what's unmistakable is that we're in the hands of a remarkable writer - a writer whose graceful and witty portraits of eccentric normality are like pages from a family album that we can all recognize.