Posted by: montclairlibrary | November 27, 2019

Home for the Holidays

As Tolstoy famously said, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Family can be tricky. Whether you’re headed home for the holidays, missing your family or avoiding your family, here are six darkly humorous books about family holidays sure to make you feel better about your own relations.

Humorous books about dysfunctional family holidays, a list by the Friends of Montclair Library

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak (FIC HORNAK) (not at Montclair)
A family is quarantined together over the Christmas holidays when their eldest daughter returns from treating an epidemic abroad, “cut off from the rest of humanity–and even decent wi-fi–and forced into each other’s orbits.” (Publisher)

The Adults by Caroline Hulse (FIC HULSE) (not at Montclair)
Estranged couple Claire and Matt decide for their daughter’s sake to plan a family Christmas vacation together at the Happy Forest Holiday Park – with their new partners in tow. It goes about as well as you’d expect.

Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners by Gretchen Anthony (FIC ANTHONY) (not at Montclair)
Violet Baumgartner has opened her annual holiday letter the same way for the past three decades: “Dearest loved ones, far and near-evergreen tidings from the Baumgartners!” But that cheery tone is going to be harder to maintain after her daughter reveals a shocking secret in front of Violet’s husband’s whole retirement party, “snaring their family and friends in a very un-Midwestern, un-Baumgartner gyre of dramatics.”

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (FIC FRANZEN) (not at Montclair)
With her each of her family members floundering in their own way, from career disasters to Parkinson’s disease, Enid Lambert resolves to bring the family together for one last perfect Christmas.

Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand (FIC HILDERBRA)
While preparing for Christmas at the Winter Street Inn, Kelley Quinn and his family find the holiday season thrown into chaos when three of their exes show up.

The Ice Storm by Rick Moody (FIC MOODY) (not at Montclair)
“It’s the weekend after Thanksgiving 1973 in the suburbs. American troops are leaving Vietnam. The Beatles are recording solo albums. Pet Rocks are on the drawing board.” And in suburban Connecticut, the Hood family is “skidding out of control.” (Publisher) It’s also a movie.


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