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The smallest events often turn out to be the most important in Shari's Goldhagen's debut novel, 'Family and Other Accidents'
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They are flawed, complex, haunted and inherently good.
Like all the rest of us, they try. They fail. They win. They lose. They beat odds and get broadsided. They love and they hurt.
Connor wants to share his life with Jack, his only brother.
Mona wants a family, with Jack.
Jack is like one of those egg yolks, wrapped in thick, gooey white. He's not easily penetrated.
But there are moments of vulnerability. Big life-changing moments and subtler ones, too.
Years pass between some chapters. At first these gaps left me wanting more.
This was either a thoughtful way of telling only the monumental events of one family's story--these are the things we remember, after all--or an author's effective trick to get to the end quicker.
I'm leaning toward the first. Because only the most perceptive and gifted writer could recognize the weight of salmonella poisoning on a road trip, of a vandalized moving truck, of a song and a framed picture of the 35th president. The smallest events often turn out to be important.
And two or three pages into the next chapter (of the book and of the characters' lives), I felt satisfied again.
That's how I felt at the end of "Family and Other Accidents," too.
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