Publisher: Flatiron Books
Date of publication: July 17, 2018
Genre: General Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Book synopsis (from Goodreads):
Harry Tabor is about to be named Man of the Decade, a distinction that feels like the culmination of a life well lived. Gathering together in Palm Springs for the celebration are his wife, Roma, a distinguished child psychologist, and their children: Phoebe, a high-powered attorney; Camille, a brilliant social anthropologist; and Simon, a big-firm lawyer, who brings his glamorous wife and two young daughters.
But immediately, cracks begin to appear in this smooth facade: Simon hasn’t been sleeping through the night, Camille can’t decide what to do with her life, and Phoebe is a little too cagey about her new boyfriend. Roma knows her children are hiding things. What she doesn’t know, what none of them know, is that Harry is suddenly haunted by the long-buried secret that drove him, decades ago, to relocate his young family to the California desert. As the ceremony nears, the family members are forced to confront the falsehoods upon which their lives are built.
Set over the course of a single weekend, and deftly alternating between the five Tabors, this provocative, gorgeously rendered novel reckons with the nature of the stories we tell ourselves and our family and the price we pay for second chances.
There are times when I request a book from NetGalley, get accepted and immediately think “Oh man, what am I in for“. The Family Tabor is such a book. When I saw it on NetGalley, I immediately thought it would be a book like The Ring by Danielle Steele. A drama that crosses generations of the same family. In a way, The Family Tabor is like that. But it also is not like that. This book isn’t a multigenerational drama. Instead, it focuses on secrets and how they can wreak havoc with lives.
I found The Family Tabor to be confusing to read. The 3rd person perspective jumped from family member to family member in the same chapter. I could be reading about what Roma was thinking and then it switched to Phoebe with no warning. There were times that I had to reread the chapter to understand who I was reading about. I do not like it when I have to do that. It ruins the flow of reading for me.
While I understand Harry’s guilt over something that happened over 20 years ago, I don’t understand how he suppressed the memory of it. I am not an expert on these things but his company was funded with some of the missing money. You would think that he would remember something like that. It didn’t scream realistic to me. It also didn’t make me like him once the full truth came out. He took advantage of a situation and got away with it.
Out of the 3 kids’ issues, the only one that I actually connected with was Camille’s. I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. Simon’s issues were spiritual. Phoebe was the one that I couldn’t understand. She didn’t have to lie about having a boyfriend. But she did. It made no sense.
I didn’t like Simon’s wife. When he told her that he wanted to look more into his religion, she flipped her wig. She didn’t want him to be a Jew? Seriously? And to end her marriage of 10 years because of that was ridiculous. So much for true love. Also, her irritation with Lucy and her repeating words was beyond annoying. To be honest, after that bigoted comment, I skimmed over her parts. I didn’t want to read anything more about her.
I wish more attention had been paid to Roma. I was fascinated by her grandmother’s story and how it shaped Roma’s life. I was also fascinated by Roma’s profession. I wanted to know more about her patient and why that child was running.
The last half of the book was as awkward to read as the first half. I barely hung in throughout Harry’s epiphany and disappearance. The only thing that perked me up was the almost mystical dreams that Camille, Simon, and Phoebe had. I felt that their resolutions to their problems were convenient. Even the end of the book was blah. I saw it coming from a mile away.
What I liked about The Family Tabor:
A) Nothing. Normally I find something nice to put here but yeah, not this time
What I disliked about The Family Tabor:
A) Confusing to read
B) Simon’s bigoted wife
C) Everything after Harry’s disappearance
I would give The Family Tabor a rating of Adult. There is mild violence. There is mild language. There are sexual situations and sex but they are very vague. I would not recommend this book to anyone under the age of 21.
There are no triggers in The Family Tabor.
The Family Tabor is a book that I would not recommend to family and friends. I would not reread this book or be willing to read any other books by the author.
I would like to thank Flatiron Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Family Tabor.
All opinions stated in this review of The Family Tabor are mine.
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**