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We are in the midst of the holiday season and family functions are bound to drive us to a state of an unfathomable amount of annoyance. Whether we see our family once a year or deal with them on a daily basis, sometimes even holiday cheer isn’t enough to distract us from the dysfunction. Here’s a list of 5 books that provide a great escape from the madness of family bonding gone wrong. So curl up in the fetal position with a cup of heavily spiced eggnog, and let your troubles melt away while reading about families that are more messed up than yours.
All Families are Psychotic
This book has it all! Thalidomide, AIDS, born-again Christianity, drugs, divorce, porn, and the Internet intertwining the characters of the story with the story of our times. With a sister heading into space, the Drummund family can’t seem to hold it together. Everyone has something, much like each member of our own families. Yet, they come together and bond in the way only a family can. Dysfunctional love.
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant
A bit like Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood laced with testosterone, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant gives a raw story of relatable, yet somewhat tragic characters whose lives didn’t turn out the way they’d hoped because of a philandering father. The book revolves around three siblings who revolve around their mother Pearl – the perfectionist with a definite mean streak, Cody who is bitter & envious, Ezra who is kind but excessively passive and Jenn who is overly impulsive with a habit for marrying the wrong men. Though they are siblings, their memories of childhood are all completely different.
I’ll Go to Bed at Noon
A booze-soaked, darkly funny novel about a quirky, troubled family as it heaves from absurdity to tragedy to pub and back again, I’ll Go to Bed at Noon offers a completely dysfunctional family that doesn’t even see its faults. From the addicted mom, to the mad-genius musical son, and the daughter who just wanted to get away from it all, this book is written so cleverly that the whole tragic situation is rather humorous at the same time. (Note: This is the 2nd in a trilogy: August and Curious Earth being the 1st and 3rd)
A book about the dark world of depression, Ordinary People is anything but depressing. It is a real, brutally honest look at life and all of the terrible things that happen. But, it is also a reminder that life is still worth living in spite of those terrible things. Putting emotions into words, Guest tells the story of the pain and healing after losing one of two sons to a tragedy.
If you think your family is a circus, you have some competition. A carny family breeds their own exhibit of human oddities. Aquaboy, Siamese twins, albino hunchbacks, oh my! Geek Love sheds harsh light on our ideas of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the obscene. Family values will never be the same.