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Publisher's Summary

The Glass Castle meets The Nest in this stunning debut, an 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.

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 aftereffects 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-laws 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.

©2018 Jeanne McCulloch (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about All Happy Families

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enjoyed this story!

I enjoyed this book very much. The descriptive vocabulary is fantastic, one of my favorite things about the book! The narrraton is also excellent and the story has a seeded humbling meaning about family and human existence

4 people found this helpful

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I wanted to like it

I really wanted to like this story. It had the bones, but all filler, no substance. I found it to be tedious and boring. She latches on to phrases she thinks will make for some poignant revelation, but really, there's no big life meaning here. This all reads like a grandmother's vanity project, not a notable memoir.

8 people found this helpful

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Not a fan

struggled to finish this one. Narrator's voice seemed sharp, harsh, difficult to listen to. The storyseemed to have little point to it.

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I didn’t want it to end

One of the best books ever! Very well written and beautifully narrated. Jeanne- hurry up and write more books, please!

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Tedious!

I so struggled to listen to this book. The narrator attempted to give energy to this, but it drug out forever! I would not recommend.

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Boring

So boring. No real story she got married she got divorced. Blah blah blah what was the point

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lovely!

one of the sweetest told tales I've ever heard. great rainy day read! you'll recall the characters fondly, even the matriarch biotch!