Family Matters
by D. C. Moses
Cherry Street Publishers

"But what had happened to Alex and Barry…so busy, so loving, so passionate for self-discovery, so yearning for self-transcendence?"

The untimely death of their son, Lu, is a shadow that haunts and looms over the Byrnes family. Each one grieves his loss in their own private way while attempting to find a way forward, immersing themselves into their careers and daily life. Then father, Barry, faces a life-changing decision when his company requests to relocate him to Washington. This sets in motion the mixed feelings and introspection by Barry and his reluctant wife, Alex, who contemplate the uncertainty of their future so close to retirement. They each reflect upon the early years of their marriage and life before and after Lu’s death. Others in the family must also come to terms with the tragic familial loss. As they each face uncertainty in the way forward, they learn something of themselves and one another.

In this densely written family drama, Moses crafts a tale of generations, marriage, family values, and individuality set in the Chesapeake Bay area. The characters are linked together by their complex relationships to one another and by their connection to Lu. The most moving scenes of the novel are those with Madi, who recounts the exact moment Lu died and the irrevocable effect it has on her parents and her family. Though Moses seems to be working at something on a larger scale beyond the scope of the novel itself, at the heart of the story is an exploration of personal lives juxtaposed with work lives and the innumerable ways in which one affects the other. If anything, it is a thought-provoking story, and fans of family dramas will no doubt find it appealing.

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