By Lionel Shriver
Following the loss of life of her useful liberal mom and dad, Corlis McCrea strikes again into her family's grand Reconstruction mansion in North Carolina, willed to all 3 siblings. Her timid more youthful brother hasn't ever left domestic. whilst her bullying black-sheep older brother strikes into "his" condominium besides, it is struggle. each one inheritor wishes the home. but to shop for the opposite out, siblings needs to staff opposed to one. simply as in girlhood, Corlis is torn among allying with the first rate yet nervous youngest and the iconoclastic eldest, who covets his legacy to break it. a wonderfully stable kinfolk is a beautiful exam of inheritance, literal and mental: what we take from our mom and dad, what we discard, and what we're caught with, love it or now not.
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Extra resources for A Perfectly Good Family: A Novel (P.S.)
Or one of them. When I flew back, no one met my plane. I took the tube, and came home to the flat empty. I was restless, and headed for the back room thinking I could start swathing my pieces in bubble-wrap for transport to the Curlew…’ I sighed. ‘The hand,’ twigged Averil. ‘Oh, nobody had taken a pickaxe to them. I might have preferred that. No, all the hands were lopped off. ’ ‘Not for a toney London gallery, and the breaks weren’t clean. No, the sculptures were ruined all right. Three, four years’ work at least.
Sides the house? I’ve taken a gander at this portfolio, but couldn’t give you an exact figure. ’ insisted Mordecai. ‘Before deductions, ballpark? Round about $300,000. ’ He smiled. Mordecai fell back. ’ ‘Ya’ll’ll have to get it assessed. Off the cuff? House that size in Oakwood right now might list for three-eighty, maybe more. Fact, 33 right downtown—Blount Street’s commercial zoning—you might get that much for the property alone. ’ Truman would have been heard several offices down. Hugh looked mystified.
I woke early, on UK time, and stumbled down for coffee. Our long, woody kitchen was added to the house around 1900, built on top of what was once a deep back porch. We’d eaten most of our meals at the rectangular table in the middle, the formal dining room reserved for interminable pot-roast dinners after church. I loved this kitchen. It had never been done over with linoleum and Formica, but retained its tacked-tin countertop by the pockmarked porcelain sink; cabinets were thick ash with crazed china knobs.