In this luminous story of family life--the first novel by Susan Minot, author of the highly acclaimed Evening--the seven Vincent children follow their Catholic mother to Mass and spend Thanksgiving with their father's aging parents who come from a world of New England privilege. As they grow older, they meet with the perplexing lives of adults. The nine stories which together make up this novel about the Vincent family, cover twelve years in the life of the children, their mother's "monkeys," during which a tragic accident alters their lives. Published in a dozen countries, it won the Prix Femina Etranger in France in l987.
Susan Minot writes with delicacy and a tremendous gift for the details that decorate domestic life, and when tragedy strikes she beautifully mines the children's tenderness for each other, and their aching guardianship of what they have.
"Minot's prose possesses a thrilling eloquence, a heartbreaking clarity."--Newsday
"Not since J. D. Salinger has an American writer so feelingly evoked the special affections and loyalties that may develop among children in a large family."--The New York Times Book Review
"Striking and original.... Minot chronicles the mundane and miraculous moments that characterize family life, in prose that is exactingly realistic, yet delicately lyrical.... Few novels have so powerfully displayed the collective unity--and joy--of family life."--Chicago Tribune
"Susan Minot's funny, wry and profoundly moving novel of a large and gawky family in Massachusetts is full of quiet surprises.... Minot is masterful at showing us the chaos of a young family forming and reforming itself. But it is the absolute simplicity of her observation--always selective, often eccentric--that astounds us for its clarity time after time."--San Francisco Chronicle