ALL HAPPY FAMILIES by Jeanne McCulloch & Giveaway



THE GLASS CASTLE meets THE NEST in this intimate family memoir that gracefully brings us behind the dappled beachfront vista of privilege, to reveal the inner lives of two wonderfully colorful, unforgettable families.

ALL HAPPY FAMILIES by Jeanne McCullough begins on a mid-August weekend. Two families assemble for a wedding at a rambling family mansion on the beach in East Hampton, in the last days of the area’s quietly refined country splendor, before traffic jams and high-end boutiques morphed the peaceful enclave into the “Hamptons.” The weather is perfect, the tent is in place on the lawn.

But as the festivities are readied, the father of the bride, and “pater familias” of the beachfront manse, suffers a massive stroke from alcohol withdrawal, and lies in a coma in the hospital in the next town. So begins Jeanne McCulloch’s vivid memoir of her wedding weekend in 1983 and its after effects on her family, and the family of the groom. In a society defined by appearance and protocol, the wedding goes on at the insistence of McCulloch’s theatrical mother. Instead of a planned honeymoon, wedding presents are stashed in the attic, arrangements are made for a funeral, and a team of lawyers arrive armed with papers for McCulloch and her siblings to sign.

As McCulloch reveals, the repercussions from that weekend will ripple throughout her own family, and that of her in-law’s lives as they grapple with questions of loyalty, tradition, marital honor, hope, and loss. Five years later, her own brief marriage ended, she returns to East Hampton with her mother to divide the wedding presents that were never opened.

Impressionistic and lyrical, at turns both witty and poignant, ALL HAPPY FAMILIES is McCulloch’s clear-eyed account of her struggle to hear her own voice amid the noise of social mores and family dysfunction, in a world where all that glitters on the surface is not gold, and each unhappy family is ultimately unhappy in its own unique way.

(Summary courtesy of Harper Wave)

An editor at The Paris Review, Tin House, writer in the Features department at Vogue magazine, McCulloch’s work has appeared in Vogue, Tin House, Elle, Allure, O Magazine, and The New York Times Book Review, among other publications. Her interviews with writers have appeared in the legendary Writers at Work series at The Paris Review, and in Tin House.  She is the founding Editorial Director of Tin House Books. McCulloch has taught fiction and non-fiction at The New School for Social Research and at numerous summer writers conferences.

Thanks to Harper Collins/Harper Wave, we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us what your family was like growing up. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

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18 thoughts on “ALL HAPPY FAMILIES by Jeanne McCulloch & Giveaway

  1. My parents had three girls. Karen, Kimberley and Kristi. My father worked at the local paper mill. My memories are of my parents taking us on trips, picnics, playing badminton, volleyball with us. They would read to us, work jigsaw puzzles, and play board games. I had a wonderful childhood!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Noisy, close, and dysfunctional and with secrets. Probably like many other families but you never think so when it’s your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. grew up in a large family. 7 kids plus Mom n Dad. my Dad worked hard so my Mom was able to stay home with us kids. had a few issues with an older sister who did some damage to our family. things got better when she left home but it changed a few things. i always knew my parents loved me & did the best they could.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Three kids strict religious upbringing .I was the rebel and life became wonderful as soon as I grew up left home& married my wonderful husband.I consider this my real life,

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My family growing up was mostly good memories. The occasional bad little girl standing in the corner. A father not around and finally remarrying and gaining many step brothers and sisters, but the fun we had was GREAT. I don’t think I would trade it

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My family growing up was close knit. I’m the youngest of six, and had hard working, loving parents. I even like my siblings!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was very fortunate that I had a good childhood so to speak. My parents were very loving towards each other and my siblings and I. We grew up knowing nothing about divorce or step children or step parents.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. In my family my brothers could do no wrong and I could never do anything right. My mother ran the family with an iron fist Thank you for the chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What was my family like growing up? um… Well, I’m a hot mess with a few degrees in Clinical Psychology. My sister is… Oh, sweet lord. How much time do I have?
    My sister is actually an extraordinarily wonderful and beautifully-functioning person, with a hell of a lot going for her. I used to be, as well, but in a different way and to a bit of a lesser extent. My early childhood… Okay, my family dynamics up until nowwwww could fuel countless theses and dissertations– too bad I freakin’ hate academia. But hooray that I looooove memoirs! It’s long been my favorite genre– esp. “witty memoirs recalling less-than-pleasant experiences.” …I’m not an awful person, I swear– I don’t revel in others’ misery. I just didn’t word that very well. But think Augusten Burroughs, one of my very very favorite authors. I just love what he does with language and experience. And somehow, combined with his incredible powers of wit and observation, he’s able to make sense of the most baffling and nonsensical.


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