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Reunion by Hannah Pittard


This is a new author to me.  If you enjoy reading about estranged and dysfunctional families, then I think you would enjoy this one — I did. It’s a quick read and told through the narration of the main character, Kate Pulaski.

The first line of the book is, “On June 16, at roughly eight-thirty in the morning, I get the phone call that my father is dead,” which makes you want to keep reading.  At least I did.

Kate’s life is pretty well in shambles before she finds out about her father’s suicidal death.  Her siblings tell her she has to travel to Atlanta for the funeral, which she can neither afford nor wants to face.  The book covers the next four days of her coping with face-to-face encounters with her four stepmothers and many half-siblings.  As Kate haphazardly deals with her messed up life, she also comes to terms with her relationship with her father.  The book has sibling relationships, adultery, childhood issues, and so much more, so enjoy.

Her : A Memoir by Christa Parravani


This was a fascinating memoir written by the author about her identical twin sister, Cara. I was drawn to this book because I had heard that the two girls had been raised and went to school in the Capital District and there are certainly many references to local landmarks. As you may imagine, the girls are more than close growing up and share many interests. However, Cara veers down a different path as she spirals into drug abuse. She also is the victim of rape and that also serves to send her into further descent. Christa tries to help her sister over and over again with various results. Unfortunately her sister dies of a drug overdose and leaves Christa behind to try and pick up the pieces. Christa then sees all too clearly that the odds are not in her favor of surviving – over 50% of surviving twins don’t live past 2 years after their twin dies. Christa then has her own struggles as she tries to reconcile what happened to her sister and slowly but surely fights back to live in the present. This is a powerfully written book, at times funny and heartbreaking but ultimately shoings how strong the human spirit is.