- Written By: Judith Frank
- Published By: William Morrow July 15, 2014
- Length: 432 pages
- Source: Publisher in consideration of an honest review.
Summary: With the storytelling power and emotional fidelity of Wally Lamb, this is a searing drama of a modern American family on the brink of dissolution, one that explores adoption, gay marriage, and love lost and found.
For years, Matthew Greene and Daniel Rosen have enjoyed a quiet domestic life together in Northampton, Massachusetts. Opposites in many ways, they have grown together and made their relationship work. But when they learn that Daniel’s twin brother and sister-in-law have been killed in a bombing in Jerusalem, their lives are suddenly, utterly transformed.
In dealing with their families and the need to make a decision about who will raise the deceased couple’s two children, both Matthew and Daniel are confronted with challenges that strike at the very heart of their relationship. What is Matthew’s place in an extended family that does not completely accept him or the commitment he and Daniel have made? How do Daniel’s questions about his identity as a Jewish man affect his life as a gay American? Tensions only intensify when they learn that the deceased parents wanted Matthew and Daniel to adopt the children-six year old Gal, and baby Noam.
The impact this instant new family has on Matthew, Daniel, and their relationship is subtle and heartbreaking, yet not without glimmers of hope. They must learn to reinvent and redefine their bond in profound, sometimes painful ways. What kind of parents can these two men really be? How does a family become strong enough to stay together and endure? And are there limits to honesty or commitment-or love?
My Thoughts: The first think that will hit you about this book is the beautiful prose that Judith Frank gives us. She also gives a window into a relationship that is struggling. Matthew and Daniel are a loving couple who are thrown into a huge turmoil. They must manage their relationship already strained because they are gay and not completely accepted, when the addition of David’s niece and nephew to their family after a tragic accident.
I’m still reading this book, but I would like to say I’m loving it. As a mother of a gay daughter who faces her own challenges this book has given me more to think about.
The conflicts Frank addresses are real and need to be addressed, I love the way she’s done this. So while this book is about a gay relationship, it’s about all relationships and change. It shares the conflict that many have with our religious upbringing or what we identify with.
Thanks TLC for allowing me to participate in this tour. While I’m still reading, I can highly recommend this book. Don’t take my word for it, take a look at other stops along the tour.
Judith Frank holds a BA from the Hebrew University, and an MFA and PhD from Cornell University. She is the author of Crybaby Butch (Firebrand Books, 2004), which was awarded a Lambda Literary Award in 2004. In 2008 she received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship for All I Love and Know. She has been a resident at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and has published short fiction in The Massachusetts Review, other voices, and Best Lesbian Love Stories 2005. She teaches English and creative writing at Amherst College, and lives with her partner and two children in Amherst, MA.