Christmas in Austin
This luminous family saga from one of Granta‘s Best Young British Novelists is a must for fans of Anne Tyler and Jonathan Franzen.
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‘A novel that everyone should read before they face their own family Christmas.’ The Times
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.
From one of Granta‘s Best Young British Novelists, Christmas in Austin beautifully explores the deep-rooted division between the world we grow up in, and the life we make for ourselves.
I adored it … It gives you such an extraordinary sense of family life, so much better than one usually gets.
One of those rich, immersive novels that leaves you wanting to WhatsApp all the characters when you have finished . . . Markovits treats his characters tenderly and his dialogue is achingly realistic . . . I was engrossed by the chewy relationship dynamics. It’s a novel that everyone should read before they face their own family Christmas.
A loving and nuanced portrait of a family's myriad functions.
Utterly absorbing . . . dramatises the chaos and claustrophobia of prolonged family gatherings.
Markovits has transposed onto this novel his trademark ear for natural conversation and microscopic attention to detail, producing an astute account of the complexities of human behaviour and emotion.
A subtle, complex, grown-up study of a modern family. There’s something pleasurable and astute to be found on every page.
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