This smartly written, haphazardly plotted family saga follows the adult Bramble siblings — supercompetent Margaret, bulimic Edie, immature Max — as they confront their father’s impending death. Has Dad been keeping a shocking family secret? And what is the meaning of his cryptic deathbed message? The emotional center is Margaret, a 21st-century fertility goddess ferrying her three children around in a minivan, sneaking in hot sex with her husband, and making room for life’s myriad experiences — including death — in her home. Eliza Minot doesn’t pull off the lame family mystery in The Brambles, but she does capture all the craziness and fleeting beauty of modern domestic life.