"Jessica Anya Blau...creates characters that have a lot more depth and more of a past than one often sees in fiction these days.... Read more...
"Jessica Anya Blau...creates characters that have a lot more depth and more of a past than one often sees in fiction these days.... I found it impossible not to care about them--and equally impossible to forget them. Blau is a magnificent writer, and this is one special novel." --Steve Yarbrough, author of Safe from the Neighbors
From Jessica Anya Blau, critically-acclaimed author of The Summer of Naked Swim Parties, comes a new novel of California, growing up, and learning to love your insane family. Perfect for fans of Jess Walter, Kevin Wilson, and Michael Chabon, Drinking Closer to Home is a poignant and funny exploration of one family's over-the-top eccentricities--a book Ron Tanner calls "heartfelt and hilarious."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-02-07
- Reviewer: Staff
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.)