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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
This week’s topic: FREEBIE
Yay! I love Freebie weeks 😛 So, it took some thinking, but in the end I went for zany/dysfunctional families. Because they’re entertaining and crazy-making, conflicted, complicated, and sometimes just simply a mess. The following families can be any of the following, they can either make you laugh or it’s just tragic.
In no particular order:
- The Drummonds from Douglas Coupland’s All Families Are Psychotic — One of the earliest dysfunctional families I’ve encountered in novels. I read this book in high school, my first Douglas Coupland, based on the title alone and its allusion is true to its word. The Drummonds and respective come together to celebrate daughter Sarah’s (the only family member who’s pretty well off all things considered) space shuttle blast off, resulting in a series of mad events (hah, I was reading the premise again and totally forgot the “death in Walt Disney World” bit), misdemeanors (actually, crimes of all sorts O_o), secrets and resentments coming out in the open. That statement doesn’t even do the book justice on how dysfunctional they are xP
- The Foxmans from Jonathan Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You (review) — Another book where a family comes together, under one roof this time for seven days to sit shiva, where (as I quote from my review) “pretty much everything comes out in the open, from fractured sibling relationships to tensions behind marriages and closeted relationships. It’s pretty zany: fist fights, weed, swimming pools, and circuit breaks are involved.”
- The Karnokovitchs from Stuart Rojstaczer’s The Mathematician’s Shiva (review) — Think the last book sounds like an insane way to sit shiva? Try having a number of mathematicians over to sit shiva too. The Karnokovitchs ended up on my list because they’re such a strange family marred by their experiences of the war and the Soviet period, brilliant in math and languages, steeped in their culture and perplexed by America. Their interaction cracks me up, it’s just so offbeat and my kind of humour xD
- The Lannisters from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (100 Things) — Toss up between them and the Baratheons, but I think the Lannisters take the cake as the most dysfunctional family in Westeros. Ruled by such a commanding patriarch, you’ve got twincest with Cersei and Jaime, Cersei hating her dwarf younger brother Tyrion, Tyrion being the perpetual outsider in his family because of his physical stature and the death of his mother when she gave birth to him, Cersei struggling to be recognised for her political machinations, and Jaime torn between the two of them and wanting to defy his father’s expectations and demands of them. Yeah, this family…
- The Bertrams from Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (review) — It’s an interesting contrast to see how the Bertram children fare compared to their poor cousin Fanny Price. All of them act without thinking about the consequences and are pretty selfish (even Edmund, who’s pretty straight-laced, is tempted briefly), their mother is quite lazy, their father is distant, and their aunt Mrs. Norris plays favourites to the detriment of their upbringing.
- The Merrivilles from Georgette Heyer’s Frederica (review) — lol, the Merrivilles are such a colourful cast of characters, each with their own interests and personalities, and with the oldest sister Frederica keeping tabs on everyone and making sure they’re all taken care of. They’re such a charming family though, even Lord Alverstoke couldn’t say no to them! 😀
- Philip IV of France’s family in Maurice Druon’s The Iron King (review) — Can’t have a dysfunctional family list without some royalty involved. Philip IV’s daughter shows promise of being a good leader while his sons…well, have their own personalities. Oh, and there’s a curse that’s also hovering over this family and adding to their troubles. Good times.
- The Greek Gods from Marie Phillip’s Gods Behaving Badly — No dysfunctional family list is complete without the gods appearing somewhere 😉 The Greek gods win by a mile in terms of dysfunctionality, and they translate quite well in this novel with their inclusion in the modern world. xD
- The Lisbons from Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides (review) — Why did the Lisbon girls commit suicide? What was really going on in their family behind closed doors? What role did their parents play in the matter? So many questions, and the family dynamic equally mysterious.
- The Clearys from Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds (review) — The generation of Cleary women, dysfunctional because of the times, because of their great loves, because of who they are. It’s curious how the mother-daughter relationship had affected their personalities, the course of their lives, the tragedies they would have to endure.
And that’s my list of books for this week! Have you read any of the books I listed? Or what books have you read featuring dysfunctional families that you liked reading?