by Yona Zeldis McDonough

A New Novel About Not Becoming Your Mother

The bond between mothers and daughters forms the dark and pulsating heart of Dani Shapiro’s gripping new novel, Family History (Alfred A. Knopf, $23). Rachel Jensen seems to have it all: wonderful, sexy husband, lovely and accomplished teen-aged daughter, fulfilling work as an art restorer, beautiful old house in a charming New England town. But when Rachel becomes pregnant with her second child, her daughter Kate suddenly starts behaving in a bizarre and disturbing way. And after the baby, Josh, is born, he suffers a terrible accident while in Kate’s care. Rachel is thrust into an untenable conflict: how to continue loving the one child who has, intentionally or not, wounded the other.

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