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Everybody's Son  By  cover art

Everybody's Son

By: Thrity Umrigar
Narrated by: Josh Bloomberg
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Publisher's Summary

The best-selling, critically acclaimed author of The Space Between Us and The World We Found deftly explores issues of race, class, privilege, and power and asks us to consider uncomfortable moral questions in this probing, ambitious, emotionally wrenching novel of two families - one black, one white.

During a terrible heat wave in 1991 - the worst in a decade - 10-year-old Anton has been locked in an apartment in the projects, alone, for seven days, without air conditioning or a fan. With no electricity, the refrigerator and lights do not work. Hot, hungry, and desperate, Anton shatters a window and climbs out. Cutting his leg on the broken glass, he is covered in blood when the police find him.

Juanita, his mother, is discovered in a crack house less than three blocks away, nearly unconscious and half-naked. When she comes to, she repeatedly asks for her baby boy. She never meant to leave Anton - she went out for a quick hit and was headed right back, until her drug dealer raped her and kept her high. Though the bond between mother and son is extremely strong, Anton is placed with child services while Juanita goes to jail.

The Harvard-educated son of a US senator, Judge David Coleman is a scion of northeastern white privilege. Desperate to have a child in the house again after the tragic death of his teenage son, David uses his power and connections to keep his new foster son, Anton, with him and his wife, Delores - actions that will have devastating consequences in the years to come.

Following in his adopted family's footsteps, Anton, too, rises within the establishment. But when he discovers the truth about his life, his birth mother, and his adopted parents, this man of the law must come to terms with the moral complexities of crimes committed by the people he loves most.

©2017 Thrity Umrigar (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Everybody's Son

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Engaging and insightful

This novel is engaging, believable, and thought-provoking. I've lived in the North and South, lost a son, then raised another woman's son of a race different than my husband's and mine. I am intrigued at how well the author developed this story without living a similar experience. Her insight is commendable.

5 people found this helpful

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Burned through this story of biracial adoption

Compelling story about the complexities of race, class and family that are front and center in the news today. Biracial families and families with adopted children may find new insights in belonging, resilience and privilege.

4 people found this helpful

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I never give reviews but WOW!

A visceral, beautiful story about love, race relations, belonging,forgiveness and redemption. I didn’t want it to end. 👏✨💯

3 people found this helpful

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Staccato Narration, Too Melodramatic

The story had promise as an novel about the intersection of privilege with race and poverty. The execution of the story was predictable and superficial and the characters were wooden and flat. The overwrought emotional scenes of sobbing adults were just a little too much to be believed. The dialogue was repetitive and occasionally schmaltzy.

The narrator should have stayed with his own voice instead of trying to create alternate voices. He was not good enough to make it work. The clipped words and sentences were irritating.

3 people found this helpful

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Human dilemma

I throughly enjoyed this book. The story is touches on all of the human emotions, goodness and shortcomings. It is thought provoking and while the focus is on racial issues the premise could be easily carried over to other subjects that are viewed in different lights by different individuals. The author takes the life of a young boy to demonstrate that good intentions can and do go wrong and how one boy/man comes to grips with how those intentions have shaped his maturing understanding of self. The characters are engaging and all show the story of their prospectives in a realistic manor. There is a happy ending but it is possible to imagine many other ways it could have turned out.

2 people found this helpful

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Umrigar continues to amaze!

This book is rich in details and emotions, and Umrigar has deftly created characters I believed in, their varied stories interwoven yet parallel. Excellent writing!

2 people found this helpful

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  • jk
  • 07-28-17

Beautiful book.

This is a story about being human, the love of parents, the beauty of children and how important context is in life.

2 people found this helpful

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Insightful Storytelling

Once again, I am entranced by Umrigar's craft...weaving human frailties, ideals and needs into storymagic.

1 person found this helpful

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Great listen not so great ending

This book was wonderful in every way except the end. I was left wanting more. Still a good listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Compelling read

This book was extraordinary.The characters were engaging and diverse and the plot was full of a range of life experiences.The narrator was excellent.I highly recommend this book.





1 person found this helpful

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  • Carolyn Johnston
  • 04-12-22

Very enjoyable

I enjoyed listening to this book very much. However I would have enjoyed a few more chapters to see how Anton’s two worlds merged. Perhaps an epilogue.