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Article

Family Romance

Posted on

Family Romance

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
John Lanchester
publisher:
Putnam
genre:
Memoir, Nonfiction

We gave it a C

When his mother dies, British novelist John Lanchester, who had grown up ”with the sense that there was another, fuller, darker narrative lurking behind the various shorter stories she told so well,” sets out to investigate her life in Family Romance. He finds that she was a nun not once, but twice, spending 15 years in religious orders before marrying his father, and that ā€” shockingly ā€” she once shaved nine years off her life by using her sister’s Irish birth certificate. It’s clear the sleuthing was something Lanchester felt compelled to do, and his children will probably read the book with interest someday. Non-relatives, however, have very little reason to slog through this kind of tedious biography. C