A memoir by the acclaimed novelist The Wall Street Journal called “blessed with a sense of history, a feeling for place, an observant eye for detail, and an elegant no-frills style.”
After three acclaimed novels, John Lanchester turns to non-fiction is this absorbing memoir of his family. This is not your standard family whine but a memoir filled with love, insight, and humour – and as always, it’s wonderfully well written and thoughtful. Family Romance is a book that will make you think about your own family interactions.
In their particulars, the Lanchesters were not Every Family. The father was an international banker, the mother a former nun. Yet in the dynamic of family life, their patterns are instantly recognizable. The heart of that dynamic is a built-in tug-of-war: to a young child, a sense of loving protection becomes, as he matures, a set of barriers to be overcome. In his richly told story, John Lanchester brings this dynamic to life, and in the process makes us think about our own family story and about the legacy – emotional, social, intellectual – our parents pass on to us, generation to generation, the bitter with the best.
Part detective work, part remarkable evocation of character, Family Romance is, above all, compelling storytelling.
From the Hardcover edition.