by Lisa Jewell

June 2003
ISBN: 0-525-94734-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Dutton

Growing up is a very difficult thing to do, even for adults, Tony, Sean, and Ned London - three brothers who are at turning points in their lives. Tonyís still reeling from his divorce and his new weight gain. Sean is going through an awful case of writerís block and trying to come to terms with his girlfriendís surprise condition. And poor Ned, Nedís ex is literally sending him parts of herself in the mail to remind him just how much she cares.

Itís going to take a lot to show these boys the road to discovery. Well not a lot really, just one person Ė Gervase, the unusual man who has moved into their parentsí house.

Enthralling, touching, awe inspiring Ė words which donít even begin to describe Lisa Jewellís A Friend of the Family. This is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable novels Iíve read this year, one I unequivocally recommend.

Well-layered and engaging from page one, the story is unique and exquisitely executed. Jewell writes as though she was born with a pen in hand. Every phrase, each sentence, seems designed with a dual purpose in mind, to entertain and enlighten.

And she does both with exceptional characters who capture our hearts and make us speak out loud at their humanness. From the extraordinary Gervase with his special senses to the confused yet conniving Tony, the cast of this narrative stand out and above the crowd. I particularly enjoyed the antics of Nedís ex, Monica, and his reaction to some of the things she did.

A Friend of the Family is a sparkling gem, one you should definitely add to your literary collection.

Reviewed in June 2003 by Natasha.

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