Tag Archives: dysfunctional families

Mother (DVD)

Although the central plot of Mother feels lacking, the experienced cast lifts this movie above the story’s limitations.  Albert Brooks plays the now twice-divorced writer John Henderson, who decides to return home to live with his widowed mother (Debbie Reynolds) in hopes … Continue reading

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The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell

The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell is a story about family—not your traditional family with a mom and dad and dinner on the table, but a family cobbled out of deprivation and desperation. And though the events that Marnie … Continue reading

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The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

Isabel “Izzy” Spellman is a determined, insatiably curious, sarcastic private investigator. Not yet 30, she’s already a seasoned pro at detective work. She’s also an emotionally closed-off woman with a checkered past who drinks too much and will break the … Continue reading

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City Island (DVD)

If you liked Meet the Parents, chances are you’ll enjoy City Island, with its somewhat different twist on the dysfunctional family theme.  Andy Garcia plays Vince Rizzo, a native of a little-known section of New York City known as City … Continue reading

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We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

What a strange little book about a strange little family in a strange little town. When the reader meets the Blackwoods, they are reduced to three:  Constance, the oldest sister; Merricat the younger; and Uncle Julian, an old invalid. They … Continue reading

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Budding cartoonist, Junior (Arnold) Spirit, a 15-year-old Spokane Indian boy, transfers to a white school off the reservation because of his eagerness to learn and frustration over conditions at the “res” school, including 15 year-old science textbooks.  This account of … Continue reading

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The Art of Racing in the Rain a novel by Garth Stein

The Art of Racing in the Rain is the story of a dog named Enzo, who has a very old soul. Enzo believes that if he tries hard enough to think like a man, he will eventually be reincarnated as … Continue reading

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Stay Close by Libby Cataldi

  In Stay Close, Libby Cataldi, the former head of the Calverton School (a private school in Maryland), writes from her own point of view about the challenges and worry she has faced as the mother of a son with … Continue reading

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The Buddha & the Borderline: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Buddhism, & Online Dating by Kiera Van Gelder

Van Gelder begins her fast-paced memoir at an art camp when she’s fifteen. She has deluded herself into believing a boy she’s known for two weeks is her boyfriend. After they engage in what President Clinton evidently doesn’t consider sex, … Continue reading

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Jar City and Hypothermia, by Arnaldur Indridason

I love discovering new authors, well, at least new to me.  Indridason is an Icelandic writer who has won numerous crime novel awards in the Scandinavian countries, but is not yet too well known here, since JAR CITY is the … Continue reading

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