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Teresa's Reading Corner: Drinking Closer to Home by Jessica Anya Blau

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Drinking Closer to Home by Jessica Anya Blau


Synopsis from the back of the book:  There is nothing like ten days with one's family to stir up child hood memories.  When Anna, Portia, and Emery's mother, Louise, suffers a massive heart attack, the three grown children return to Santa Barbara as they wait for Louise to either recover or die.
Anna can't stop thinking about sex with strangers, though in junior high she was terrifyingly certain that her free-loving parents had syphilis.  Portia's beach-bunny teen years feel far away as she struggles in an unfaithful husband who has left her feeling boneless and unsure.  And though Emery's greatest childhood fear was that The Law would catch up with their parents for any one of their numerous  transgressions, now his only worry is that he won't be able to create his own family, a newer, better version that will trump the chaos that ruled his childhood.

But time together also brings to the surface some painful, often heartbreaking secrets that will shake the foundations of everything the siblings know about themselves and their family- secrets that may, perhaps, change the way they view the past as well as the future.

My thoughts:  I wanted to read this one because I was craving something different.  I seem to have fallen into a bit of a reading rut.  I've been reading a lot of Historical fiction and Memoirs with a few fluffy titles in between.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just needed something else.  This book was most certainly outside of those parameters.  The thing that I loved about it is that it allowed me to take my mind off of my own troubles but it wasn't fluffy brain candy either.  This was a very dysfunctional family, it would make the oddest family seem normal. There were several times that I wondered what else could possibly happen to these people.

The situations presented in Drinking Closer to Home are certainly extreme, but the overall message is true for everyone.  How many of us have left home to go to college and come back a different person.  Did you find that your "role" in the family dynamic changed?  Did you find out about some long lost family secret years after it happened and have it affect you deeply?  Do you long for a relationship with a sibling that is vastly different from the one that you actually have?  If any of these statements are true, then you will be able to relate to these characters.

This was an interesting read for me because I found that I could relate to these characters even if I never actually liked any of them. I don't think that this has happened to me before.  This story is full of emotion and heartbreak.  It will make your jaw drop, make you laugh out loud and you might want to throw it against the wall in frustration.  It will also keep you coming back for more.  You will want to see what happens to this quirky family. 

The bottom line... read it, you might appreciate your own family a little bit more or learn something about yourself.  Please note that there are many sexual situations and drug use throughout the story.  This is most certainly a book meant for adults to enjoy. 


I was provided an uncorrected proof from the publisher for participation in the blog tour put on by TLC Book Tours.  This is my honest opinion of the book

Make sure you stop by some of the other blogs to see what they thought of the book.

Wednesday, January 19th: Life in the Thumb
Thursday, January 20th: Scraps of Life
Monday, January 24th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Tuesday, January 25th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Wednesday, January 26th: Chefdruck Musings
Thursday, January 27th: Book Club Classics!
Tuesday, February 1st: Rundpinne
Wednesday, February 2nd: Write Meg
Thursday, February 3rd: After ‘I Do’
Wednesday, February 9th: Clever Girl Goes Blog
Thursday, February 10th: Alison’s Book Marks


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9 Comments:

At January 18, 2011 at 7:28 AM , Blogger Jo-Jo said...

I'm glad you liked this one Teresa because I sure did also! It was such a different book but really a gem in its own way. My goodness, I think I just laughed out loud when Emery yelled out at his grandpa during that family get-together!

 
At January 18, 2011 at 12:12 PM , Blogger Lisa said...

This sounds like a really good book. It sounds like a painfully truthful reads that really makes you look at your past decisions and those of your family. Great review.

 
At January 18, 2011 at 4:36 PM , Blogger Staci said...

So glad that you enjoyed this one. I really didn't enjoy it, but that's what is so great about reading and the diverse opinions out there!!

 
At January 18, 2011 at 9:26 PM , Blogger Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

I was curious about this one. Good review. I'll be also curious to read your review of Small Wars!

 
At January 18, 2011 at 9:27 PM , Blogger Amused said...

This sounds great - I love books that center around family dynamics and this title cracks me up!

 
At January 19, 2011 at 10:07 AM , OpenID heathertlc said...

Hmm, a book that would make my family life seem more normal and make me remember why I appreciate my family? Count me in! This sounds like a complete departure from what I usually read as well, but it might be just what I need ...

Thanks for being a part of the tour - hopefully this is the book that will pull you from your reading rut!

 
At January 19, 2011 at 2:35 PM , Blogger GMR said...

Certainly sounds like this book broke you out of that reading rut. ^_^ With a cast of characters as lively and yet real as this, it's no wonder you enjoyed your time in their lives. Thanks for the share...and happy reading!

 
At January 21, 2011 at 11:13 AM , Blogger Lisa@ButteryBooks said...

This sounds like a heavy book. I have a hard time reading a book when I don't like the characters. Does it at least have a happy ending? Not a requirement for a good book (I loved Elegance of the Hedgehog) but after so much strife, I would need to walk away with at least a little silver lining on the horizon.

 
At January 21, 2011 at 11:17 AM , Blogger Teresa said...

Hmmm...not sure how to answer that one Lisa. It all depends on how you look at it. :)

 

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