From an up-and-coming screenwriter and New Yorker contributor, a hilarious novel in letters by members of an unconventional family, running the gamut from sardonic to heartfelt
Julie is a young writer trying to get her career off the ground while evaluating some not-so-promising romantic relationships – and the urgent opinions about her life choices of everyone from her six-year-old half-brother to her needy, over-bearing mother to the married rabbi who may or may not be hitting on her mother. Inspired by the new normal, in which families often involve multiple marriages, same-sex couples, half siblings, and surrogate mothers, this debut novel is comprised of satirical – yet incredibly honest – letters, emails, and even Facebook messages from Julie’s wide-ranging relatives (biology aside) to her.
Susanna Fogel knows firsthand that communication between family members can be “a kabuki of hilarious misfires,” and each letter in Nuclear Family is smarter, funnier, and more nuanced than the last. And with each letter, though we never hear from her directly, we learn a bit more about Julie and her complex relationships with her family members, who, as in all families, are doing their best to show they care and entirely ruining each other’s lives.