Humorous and heartbreaking, wise and demented, Every Happy Family explores the colourful – and sometimes repurposed – fabric of the Wright family. The stories mark turning points in the lives of the individual family members, as well as in their relationships with each other.
Married parents Jill and Les are the warp of the Wright family tapestry - Jill beginning to lose her mother to Alzheimer's, Les diagnosed with a cancer he initially keeps secret from their children. Each family member's thread unravels from the others, as older son Quinn finds a dangerous way to combat shyness, younger son Beau seeks success and closure at boarding school, and adopted daughter Pema explores her roots.
But past and present weave back together and towards the future, as everyone is called home for Les's "life celebration" - his "living wake". Alone and together, the Wrights crash along, unable to give up on themselves or each other...hard as they might try.
"Every Happy Family follows Jill, Les, Quinn, Beau and Pema as they respond to their issues and live with the consequences. Tolstoy once observed that happy families are all alike, and that every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Reflective and engaging, Crane explores individual unhappinesses in a largely functional, happy suburban family, focusing particularly on the conflicting needs of freedom and belonging. This work will strongly appeal to readers of Alice Munro, Sandra Birdsell, and David Bergen."