Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg

An amazingly great read that packed a punch, rocked with black humour and told a tale rich in deliciousness.
The Middlesteins are a family driven a part by the gorging of their love sick mother, the talented and very clever Edie. Her hapless husband Richard can do nothing in the end but leave his health compromised wife which sets off a chain of events that catapults the reader, along with the family on  a most interesting journey.
With characters that are so vivid in the drawing that you will recognise them without fail, back stories that enlighten and enhance the telling, this is a book that is literally not able to be put down, it zips along and in a rather unique way lays out all the misery that solidness can provide a cover for in the lives of the middle class.
There is not a word out of place in this narrative, it is almost as though the author chose each word for maximum impact and often added another couple to double the impact and give the reader an even more rewarding experience. Nothing is sacred and all is handled with delicacy and sensitivity except when it crosses over into black humour and you find yourself chortling along and in some cases probably recognising your own wished for reaction to a situation and thinking if only....
There is much love and kindness in this book, much understanding and empathy, dollops of compassion, the author has a heap of wisdom and mixes it up beautifully with the less desirable traits of her characters. I particularly liked that each character was a combination of good and bad and that their reactions were so realistic and so plausible,their actions so doable.
All in all, this book was one of my favourite reads of this year, simply because it is so human and any one that knows me, knows my humour is hardly of the Pollyannaish type! so I was in laugh heaven.
Available from Unity Books and from the Library System, don`t miss it, its great!

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