Our Frail Blood

Our Frail Blood

Book - 2013
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"Malae is like a young Nelson Algren or Richard Wright, one of those writers who can hit with both hands." --Russell Banks

By way of Italy, the Felice family puts down new roots in Southern California, settling into a grand Victorian home and buying a share of the great American Dream. But for their five, first-generation children, an idyllic childhood didn't quite translate into success and happiness. Rather, the pressures of living up to expectations drove a wide rift through the family.

After decades apart, the five siblings find themselves together again at their ailing mother's bedside, caught in a deadlocked feud over her hospice care. Into the morass steps Murron Teinetoa, one of their bastard children, who carries an idealistic hope of finally fitting in among her estranged relatives.

In an interweaving narrative, Malae portrays the Felices in their formative years of the fifties; he excavates the personal lives of the siblings in the eighties and nineties; and he follows Murron in the present as she raises her son as a single mother. A powerful and fiery multi-generational story, Our Frail Blood captures the beauty and horror, the strength and fragility, the selfishness and love comprising the threads of familial bonds.
Publisher: New York : Black Cat ; [Berkeley, CA] : Distributed by Publishers Group West, c2013
ISBN: 9780802120786
Branch Call Number: Fiction
Characteristics: x, 485 p. : geneal. tables ; 22 cm


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Apr 14, 2015

"I forgive you," she said now talking to the letter as if it were human. As if it were him. "We are all trying to forgive ourselves for being alive". pg 335

Apr 14, 2015

When you can't take the first step in a marathon conversation on the most important things we face in our lives, how hopeless is the race? pg 250


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Apr 14, 2015

Another powerful, well written novel from a very talented author. The story is an exaggerated for effect caricature of a dysfunctional conservative Italian American family from the 50's to the present day (which might offend both groups). Ultimately the voice of Murron rings out that you can over come dysfunction, and forgive it, but move on from it to keep from passing it on in your life. Most fiction I read is filled with fluff that neither illuminates the characters, nor adds meaning to the story, but Malae writes with meaning, power, and purpose through out.


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