Christmas in Austin
When the four Essinger children gather in Austin for Christmas, they all bring their news. Nathan is hoping to become a Federal judge. Susie’s husband has taken a job in England. Jean has asked her boyfriend and boss to meet her family. Paul has broken up with Dana, mother of their son Cal. But their parents have plans, too, and invite Dana to stay, hoping to bring the couple back together. As the week unfolds, the Essingers all face conflicts of loyalty and tensions between old families and new. Rich, intimate, and deeply perceptive, this book beautifully explores the deep-rooted division between the world we grow up in, and the life we make for ourselves.
‘Intricately, intimately written, with some wonderful prose and delicate dialogue.’ Guardian
‘A loving and nuanced portrait of a family’s myriad functions.’ The New Yorker
‘Utterly absorbing.’ Financial Times
‘A tour de force.’ Sunday Times
A Luminous family saga from one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists
When the four Essinger children gather in Austin for Christmas, they all bring their news. Nathan wants to become a federal judge. Susie’s husband has taken a job in England. Jean has asked her boyfriend and (once-married) boss to meet her family. Paul has broken up with Dana, mother of their son Cal. But their parents have plans, too, and Liesel, the materfamilias, has invited Dana and Cal to stay, hoping to bring them back together. As the week unfolds, each of the Essingers has to confront the tensions and conflicts between old families and new.
Rich, intimate, and deeply perceptive, Christmas in Austin beautifully explores the deep-rooted division between the world we grow up in, and the life we make for ourselves.
‘A subtle, complex, grown-up study of a modern family. There’s something pleasurable and astute to be found on every page.’ Literary Review
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