From the prodigiously gifted author of the acclaimed memoir Slow Motion, a stunning and brutally honest novel about one family’s harrowing recovery from devastation.
Rachel Jensen is perfectly happy: in love with her husband, devoted to their daughter Kate, gratified by her work restoring art. And finally, she’s pregnant again. But as Rachel discovers, perfection can unravel in an instant. The summer she is thirteen, Kate returns from camp sullen, angry, and withdrawn. Everyone assures Rachel it’s typical adolescent angst. But then Kate has a terrifying accident with her infant brother, and the ensuing guilt brings forth a dreadful lie—one that ruptures their family, perhaps irrevocably. Family History is a mesmerizing journey through the mysteries of adolescent pain and family crisis.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Family History|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Family History|
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I lie in bed these days and watch home movies—a useless exercise, to be sure, but I can’t stop myself. Ned’s an amateur filmmaker, and ever since we got our first video camera when Kate was born, he has documented our family’s life, not just birthday parties and anniversaries but smaller, more telling moments. When I appear in these tapes, I’m usually laughing and covering my face, saying No, no, I look terrible. Ned is almost always behind the camera. Kate, Kate, Katie, his deep voice cajoles, come here, baby doll. And then, after Kate as a baby, a toddler, a blurry little blond girl, she begins to become sharper and clearer, her features morphing themselves into a face of such extraordinary beauty that sometimes I felt shocked to realize she was my daughter.
My bedroom is dark, the shades drawn against the sun. Even though no one is home, the door is closed. Outside, the occasional car. Voices rise and fall. The dull thud of heels on the street. The walls of this old house are thick, but the windows are made of ancient wavy glass. We had always planned to replace the glass, but we never got around to it. I used to like the way I could hear everything going on outside. It made me feel like part of the world. Now, all I want is to be sealed off. People come and go. They drive their cars to and from work. They take their children to one another’s houses. They go out to dinner and drive slowly, carefully home, protecting what is theirs.
The people on the screen are strangers to me: that pretty young woman, her hair pulled back in a messy ponytail; that man next to her, with faint laugh lines under his eyes. Everything was so easy then. T