From the director of The Spy Who Dumped Me, Susanna Fogel, comes a comedic novel about a fractured family of New England Jews and their discontents, over the course of three decades. Told entirely in letters to a heroine we never meet, we get to know the Fellers through their check-ins with Julie: their thank-you notes, letters of condolence, family gossip, and good old-fashioned familial passive-aggression.
Together, their missives - some sardonic, others absurd, others heartbreaking - weave a tapestry of a very modern family trying (and often failing) to show one another they care.
The titular "Nuclear Family" includes, among many others:
A narcissistic former-child-prodigy father who has taken up haiku writing in his old age and his new wife, a traditional Chinese woman whose attempts to help her stepdaughter find a man include FedExing her silk gowns from Filene's Basement.
Their six-year-old son, Stuart, whose favorite condiment is truffle oil and who wears suits to bed.
Julie's mother, a psychologist who never remarried but may be in love with her arrogant Rabbi and overshares about everything, including the threesome she had with Dutch grad students in 1972.
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Praise for Nuclear Family
“This brilliant patchwork portrait of a modern family dynamic puzzled together through disparate, often passive-aggressive messaging rings heart-achingly true in our age of family diplomacy by text and email. Fortunately for us it’s also hilarious." —Nick Offerman
“[P]olitically incorrect, but u prob won’t mind b/c other parts are so funny.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Fogel’s novel offers plenty of glimpses—both humorous and endearing—into the life of a single woman with a well-meaning, if clueless, family.” —Publishers Weekly
“Sharp, funny, and painful. Just like your actual family.” —Simon Rich