The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg

, The Middlesteins by Jami AttenbergThe Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg

This was a great look into a troubled family, told from the point of view of multiple characters and across a broad spectrum of time. I was drawn to reading it as it was Attenberg’s break-out novel and I just recently discovered her work when I recently picked up “All This Could be Yours.” She is really obsessed by the theme of sharply divided family and how the vitriol that grows inside the eldest generation infects the younger. Attenberg’s language and observations are cutting and at the same time humorous. I also enjoy her inspecting the Jewish family under a microscope, since as a people, they self-identify as being shaped by memory and tradition. In the Middlesteins the rupture in relationships is heartbreaking to watch, but there is redemption in allegiances that are unexpected.

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