The Old Romantic

The Old Romantic

[a Novel]

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
3
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A long-estranged family discovers that blood is thicker than water in this hilarious and moving domestic comedy.

It's been a couple of decades since Nick cast off his impossible, contentious, embarrassingly working-class parents: gruff, stingy, explosive Ken and June, who seemed to revert to a primal state of nature after a divorce that both of them managed to blame on Nick. Enjoying the life of the country gentleman that he's made for himself with impeccably turned-out Astrid and her teenage daughter, Laura, Nick has kept only the slenderest family connection to his brother, Dave, who's stuck with the role of ambassador in a family that's long settled into cold war.

But then Ken decides that the year of his death has arrived, and thus kicks off an ill-conceived quest to reunite his family before he meets his fate. Bringing to this tinderbox just the spark it needs, Louise Dean sends up the whole clan, each of them fatally flawed yet saved by hidden grace, and illuminates with her incomparable acuity their clashes of generation, gender, class, and temperament, in a riotous and compassionate conflagration.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2011, c2010
ISBN: 9781594487798
Branch Call Number: DEAN
Characteristics: 338 p. ; 22 cm

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jeanner222 Jul 10, 2013

Nick Goodyew has not been in contact with his parents for 20 years or so. The family is reunited when Nick’s father, Ken, becomes obsessed with death. So begins the craziness. . .

After meeting with his angry father, Nick is forced to examine his past and present. Who is he? How can he be related to Ken? What does he need to do in order to not end up like his father?

Though it’s mostly quiet and kind of depressing, Nick’s journey leads readers to a happy and warm place and leaves us with hope and a laugh or two.

b
bluehydrangea
Jul 22, 2012

Very funny. Louise Dean is a marvellous writer and there are laugh-out loud moments here. It's a book with heaps of sympathy for its characters, and depth as well. Recommended!

a
amandacross3
Jul 12, 2012

didn't read

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