By Lionel Shriver
Following the demise of her useful 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 battle. each 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 good yet worried youngest and the iconoclastic eldest, who covets his legacy to wreck it. a wonderfully solid kin 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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Additional info for A Perfectly Good Family: A Novel (P.S.)
48 ‘Hers,’ insisted Mordecai. They lived in a smug self-congratulatory unit of two. ’ Truman ran water in the sink, and kept his back to his brother. ’ ‘Didn’t you ever imagine what it might be like if she lived to a hundred? Getting heavier and weak in the head, talking about Father all the time? Wetting her bed, no longer able to drive? Hell, yes, I’m relieved. ’ As Truman plopped glasses into the soapy water, Mordecai wrapped his hand around his tumbler, and Averil, I noted, did not have the nerve to clear Mordecai’s glass.
At Brother’s Pizza I’d been braced to move on to what a marvellous spokesman of the downtrodden my father had been, how fair-minded and self-sacrificing, and what a shame…The usual. Hugh Garrison launched into no such thing. ‘I’ll never forget,’ he began on a second Bud, ‘dinner at your parents’, oh, fifteen years back. I’d litigated a case, see—some arthritic biddy over in Cary with a fair stack of cash in the mattress had been tended by a black maid for years. Since her kids hadn’t been giving her the time of day, the lady’d changed her 28 will and left lock, stock, and barrel to the maid.
Hence my chart. If we counted the ACLU as the fourth child and allowed each parent to rank the McCrea kids on a preference scale from 1 to 4, we all four earned exactly five points. I had to admire the symmetry, contrived by two people neither mathematically minded and only egalitarian in an official sense. My father fought for justice his whole life, so naturally my parents would mete out love along with the real estate in equal portions. Though Mordecai’s glass was beginning to sweat, I paused to 40 study my handiwork.
A Perfectly Good Family: A Novel (P.S.) by Lionel Shriver