A Perfectly Good Family: A Novel (P.S.) by Lionel Shriver

By Lionel Shriver

Following the loss of life of her worthwhile liberal mom and dad, Corlis McCrea strikes again into her family's grand Reconstruction mansion in North Carolina, willed to all 3 siblings. Her timid more youthful brother hasn't ever left domestic. while her bullying black-sheep older brother strikes into "his" apartment besides, it truly is struggle. every one inheritor wishes the home. but to shop for the opposite out, siblings needs to group opposed to one. simply as in girlhood, Corlis is torn among allying with the first rate yet nervous youngest and the iconoclastic eldest, who covets his legacy to spoil it. a wonderfully reliable family members is a gorgeous exam of inheritance, literal and mental: what we take from our mom and dad, what we discard, and what we're caught with, love it or now not.

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Example text

All those doo-dahs? ’ “Less your mom was collecting antiques—’ ‘Only the cheese,’ I intruded. ’ he asked me. ’ ‘Most household contents don’t assess at more than a few thousand bucks,’ Hugh assured us. ‘On this point I bet we could convince the ACLU to ease up. It is, after all, a darned gracious bequest. ’ ‘Oh, absolutely,’ said Mordecai. ’ Truman pleaded. ‘Not a snowball’s chance. Too much do-re-mi. Oh, they’ll be nice about it—at first. But those fundraising boys are hungry. That it’s for a good cause only makes them more aggressive.

It’s not fair, it’s not real. ’ pressed Mordecai. ‘Besides, my little fairy isn’t absurd. You said yourself, the longer she lived the less we got, so every night did cost money, didn’t it? You haven’t answered me. How much would the hand-squeezing and hot cocoa be worth to you? $1,000? $500? ’ Truman cried. ‘Are you so sure?

Hee-hee-hee… Truman’s face folded down like a garage door. Truman claimed to dislike his brother; I thought his dislike was occluded by terror. I suggested we all have a drink before preparing dinner. Brothers beelined for opposite corners of the parlour, Averil taking the love seat behind her husband’s chair so that her view of her brother-in-law was physically blocked. She picked up a copy of The Christian Century and looked rapt. When I solicited Truman with a glass of wine, I found him hunched over a piece of stationery.

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