Whanganuilibrary.com

A perfectly good family / Lionel Shriver.

By: Shriver, LionelMaterial type: TextTextPublication details: Pymble, N.S.W. : Harper Perennial, 2008Description: 277, 16 pages ; 20 cmContent type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780732288013 (pbk.); 0732288010 (pbk.)Subject(s): Inheritance and succession -- North Carolina -- Fiction | Brothers and sisters -- Fiction | Sibling rivalry -- Fiction | Inheritance and succession North Carolina Fiction | North Carolina -- FictionGenre/Form: General fiction. | Domestic fiction. DDC classification: 813.54 Summary: "Following the death of her worthy liberal parents, Corlis McCrea moves back into her family's grand Reconstruction mansion in North Carolina, willed to all three siblings. Her timid younger brother has never left home. When her bullying black-sheep older brother moves into "his" house as well, it's war. Each heir wants the house. Yet to buy the other out, two siblings must team against one. Just as in girlhood, Corlis is torn between allying with the decent but fearful youngest and the iconoclastic eldest, who covets his legacy to destroy it. A Perfectly Good Family is a stunning examination of inheritance, literal and psychological: what we take from our parents, what we discard, and what we are stuck with, like it or not"--P. [4] of cover.
Holdings
Item type Current library Collection Call number Copy number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Fiction Alexander Library | Te Rerenga Mai o Te Kauru
Fiction Collection
Fiction Collection SHR 1 Available T00472390
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Classic Lionel Shriver ...

Following the death of her worthy liberal parents, Corlis McCrea moves back into her family's grand Reconstruction mansion in North Carolina, willed to all three siblings. Her timid younger brother has never left home. When her bullying black-sheep older brother moves into 'his' house as well, it's war.Each heir wants the house. Yet to buy the other out, two siblings must team against one. Just as in girlhood, Corlis is torn between allying with the decent but fearful youngest and the iconoclastic eldest, who covets his legacy to destroy it. A PERFECtLY GOOD FAMILY is a stunning examination of inheritance, literal and psychological: what we take from our parents, what we discard, and what we are stuck with, like it or not.'Shriver sets up and controls this tense triumvirate with admirable precision and a keen understanding of the hastily formed alliances and subtly accorded trade-offs involved in family exchanges' tHE GUARDIAN'Often funny and always intelligent ... shot through with sardonic wit and black comedy' tHE INDEPENDENt

Reprint with new "P.S. insights, interviews & more" section. Previously published: London ; Boston : Faber and Faber, 1996.

"Following the death of her worthy liberal parents, Corlis McCrea moves back into her family's grand Reconstruction mansion in North Carolina, willed to all three siblings. Her timid younger brother has never left home. When her bullying black-sheep older brother moves into "his" house as well, it's war. Each heir wants the house. Yet to buy the other out, two siblings must team against one. Just as in girlhood, Corlis is torn between allying with the decent but fearful youngest and the iconoclastic eldest, who covets his legacy to destroy it. A Perfectly Good Family is a stunning examination of inheritance, literal and psychological: what we take from our parents, what we discard, and what we are stuck with, like it or not"--P. [4] of cover.

12 19 20 77 89 96 97 98 104 111 131 149 159 175

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

Perfectly Good Family, A Chapter One 'Don't tell me,' said the taxi driver, rubber-necking at the formidable Victorian manor. 'Your mother's Norman Bates.' 'My mother's dead,' I said. Harsh, but the information was so fresh for me, only two weeks old, that I was still repeating it to myself. 'Don't you strain yourself, Missy.' He lunged from the front seat to take the luggage from me: two leather monsters and a bulging carry-on. I'd been overweight at Heathrow, and lucky that in November the plane was not too full. 'You want, I'll haul these to the porch--' 'Not at all,' I said. 'My brother likes to give me a hand. He always has.' I pulled out a wad of dollars crumpled with flyers, unsure of the form for tipping taxis in North Carolina. An ostensible native, I clung to any ignorance about Raleigh as proof that I no longer belonged here. Skint most of my adult life, I reminded myself I would have more money soon and forced myself to hand over twenty per cent. The generosity didn't come naturally. McCreas are Scots-Presbyterian stock; I have stingy genes. 'But you're spot on about the house,' I nodded upwards. 'It does look like Psycho , all right. The neighbourhood children all think it's haunted.' And wasn't it? Handing over the bills, I thumbed Alexander Hamilton; after five years of starchy London tenners, a dollar felt like pyjamas. 'Or The Addams Family , mehbe. Take care now, ma'am. Hope your brother's a muscly guy. Those cases is killers.' 'He's pretty powerful.' I frowned. Since I still envisaged Truman as a delicate, timid tag-along about two feet high, that he was a beefy man of thirty-one who lifted weights in his attic living room was disconcerting. The cab ploughed down Blount Street, leaving me by chattel that would have been, until a fortnight before, all I owned. I turned to face what else I owned: a great, gaunt mansion built just after the Civil War. There was no denying its magnificence. I had shown friends in London pictures of my family: my dark, glamorously beautiful mother in the days when she was genuinely happy instead of pretending to be; my father sporting his lopsided, hangdog grin as he accepted another award from the NAACP; my little brother Truman when he was photographed by the Raleigh Times throwing himself in front of a bulldozer; though I had no pictures, I discovered, of my older brother. None of these snaps made the slightest impression. Yet when I showed them a picture of my house, faces lit, hands clapped, eyebrows lifted. For the English, Heck-Andrews was everything a Southern residence was meant to be: remote, anachronistic, both inviting and forbidding at the same time. It fulfilled their tritest expectations, though I received complaints that there was no Spanish moss. That's in South Carolina, I'd explain. And then we would get on to why I didn't seem to have a Southern accent, and I'd be reassured that tell-tale traces had been eradicated. Even in the last light of the day I could see the clapboard was flaking; so the failing manila paint was now my problem. It was apparent from the pavement that the ceilings of the first two floors were vaulting, all very exhilarating except they were murderously dear to heat, and the price of oil was now, I supposed, my problem as well. Yet paint and heat were only a third my responsibility--and this in itself would shortly become my biggest problem. It was the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, a holiday which I only ever remembered in Raleigh-Durham, where gift shops were flogging pop-up pilgrim books; letting this exclusively American holiday nearly slip by unnoticed gave me a sense of accomplishment. I zipped up my jacket. No doubt the English didn't picture the South in winter, but North Carolina has one, albeit mild. In fact, I remembered dressing for school huddled by the floor vent, stuffing my bunched knee-highs by its breath to pre-warm my socks. My parents were McCreas, too, and their remedy to the heating problem was all too simple. I left the bags on the pavement and strode towards the broad, intricately ornamented front porch that skirted the mansion. This opulent, gregarious-looking expanse with a swing on one end was designed for mint juleps; but my parents had been teeto-tallers and, rather than recall long languid summer nights with fireflies and low laughter, I pictured squeaking morosely with Truman on the swing, frantic for my parents to go to bed. We hadn't been very nice to them. Ordinarily on one of my visits home as I approached this same front door I'd be bracing myself for my mother's protracted, claim-laying embrace--when the more I stiffened, the harder she would squeeze. Once my father died, her hugs had become only longer and tighter and were laced with hysteria. Now I was spared. A dubious reprieve. We rarely entered through the front door, more comfortable with the side entrance into the kitchen. Ringing the bell, I touched the cold curlicued polygonal panes in the door, one of which had been replaced with plain window glass. The asymmetry never failed to vex Truman. But because the original had been shattered when my older brother put his arm through it--my father had been chasing him through the house to force him to turn down the volume of Three Dog Night I treasured the flaw. There weren't many signs of Mordecai left here. 'Corlis!' In the open door my brother hugged me. He knew how: his hands were firm on my back and he waited a single beat during which he was plausibly thinking about being glad to see me and then he let go. I didn't take these capacities for granted. 'You should have let us pick you up.' 'Not during rush hour.' The consideration was unlike me. When I gestured to my luggage on the pavement, I thought I was doing Truman a favour by allowing him to heave it in. Perfectly Good Family, A . Copyright © by Lionel Shriver. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Powered by Koha