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Extended Audio Sample Happy Family: A Novel, by Tracy Barone Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tracy Barone Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In Tracy Barone’s mordantly funny debut, a fiercely independent woman is forced to come to terms with the family who raised her, the one who gave her away and the one she desperately wants.

Trenton, New Jersey, 1962. A pregnant girl staggers into a health clinic, gives birth, and flees. A foster family takes the baby in, and an unlikely couple, their lives unspooling from a recent tragedy, hastily adopts her.

Forty years and many secrets and lies later, Cheri Matzner is all grown up and falling apart. Ironic and unapologetic, she’s a former cop turned disgruntled academic, a frustrated wife trying to get pregnant, an iconoclastic daughter bearing war wounds from her overbearing mother and the deeply flawed but well-meaning father who has been dead for several years. Thrust into an odyssey of acceptance, Cheri discovers that sometimes it takes half a lifetime to come of age.

Written with a deep emotional intelligence and a biting wit, Happy Family weaves together the stories of the beautifully damaged people who have shaped Cheri’s life—often in ways she has yet to discover. Asking if we can ever really know our parents outside their roles as our parents, Barone brilliantly explores the often vast divide between our beliefs about our families and the truth.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Smart, witty, and immensely readable, Happy Family brilliantly examines the power of family and the secrets we keep, and leaves us cheering for its heroine, Cheri—funny, fierce, aching for connection but independent to a fault—whose midlife coming-of-age is wise, heartfelt, and a pure page-turning pleasure to read.”

    Maria Semple, New York Times bestselling author

  • “It’s not often that I stumble across a novel as smart, as tender, and as exquisitely rendered as Happy Family. Tracy Barone treats the subject in a completely refreshing and original way—and how is that even possible? This book Blew. Me. Away.”

    Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Tracy Barone is a storyteller with a deft, effortless style that grabs you, holds you, and at turns, leaves you breathless. Her characters are so distinctive, so deeply humane and complex, their humor, intelligence and place in the world is immediately apparent. The novel folds out like one of those hand-painted screens that separates one room from another, but in this case, there was nothing hidden behind, all secrets were revealed, as the author took you by the hand through the life of Cheri Matzner. Even her name is exactly right: red hot, ripe, and in her perfection, unreachable.”

    Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author

  • “In her debut novel, screenwriter, playwright, and film producer Barone uses a wide lens to capture Cheri Matzner’s life, from a precarious beginning to a confident, peaceful middle age…Cinematic in its scope, this novel takes readers on a broad, deep, and poignant journey alongside a tough, admirable woman and the varied characters who populate her life.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for May 2016
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