Putting the "Fun" in "Dysfunctional"
With late spring come showers, flowers and lots of opportunities for family togetherness. And though the sentiment of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is sweet, every family has its share of bitterness: secrets betrayed, promises broken, expectations disappointed. We turn to literature for moral guidance, and we trust great books to expose the complexities of lives both similar to — and different from — our own. The source of our most primal instincts, the living ties to our own history, family is what makes us; family is what breaks us. As Tolstoy famously wrote, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” And from unhappiness, the most affecting tales are spun. These six books — three novels, two memoirs, and short story collection — narrate the trinity of modern life: the personal journey, the family epic, the societal saga. So cut your tulips, sign your cards, and flip your pancakes! And when all of that celebrating feels like too much, sit down and enjoy stories of families who are surely worse off than your own.