Synopses & Reviews
A luminous, panoramic novel of family life a beautiful, often hilarious portrait of motherhood and marriage and a magnificent leap forward from the highly praised author of The Tiny One
("Minot has a sorceress's ability to perceive the emotional spirits trapped in nature and a wild, unstrung, lyrical gift" The New York Times Book Review
This is the story of the Bramble family Margaret, Max, and Edie three adult siblings careening through wildly different byways of adult life. Margaret, mother of three, drowning in a sea of runny noses and lost mittens, is a nurturer with a sense of humor, a witty woman at wits' end, about to take her ailing father into the tumult and chaos of her already overcrowded home. Edie, her younger sister, is a barely recognizable version of Margaret's former self young, single, clicking smartly down city streets in good shoes, but struggling mightily beyond her sister's vision to anchor her desultory, and intensely solitary, life. Max, newly married, newly a father, is buckling under the weight of new responsibilities. Over the course of one critical season, a long hidden secret will be revealed, remaking each of them, and all they thought they knew about one another and about themselves.
Lyrical, emotional, and large-hearted a sweeping and unfailingly precise depiction of the allegiances, as well as the miscommunications and misunderstandings, upon which we build our lives The Brambles is ringing confirmation of Eliza Minot's abundant gifts.
"Minot's graceful, candid novel about the meaning of adulthood and the depth of family attachment follows the three siblings of the titular clan as they face the consequences of their life choices. Margaret is an ambivalent mother of three who relinquished her autonomy and former identity as a hip New Yorker for a suburban life of carpools; Max, a new father, quit his job as an independent film producer but hides the truth from his wife by pretending to go to work every day; depressed, lonely 20-something Edie struggles with singlehood and a newly acquired eating disorder. Now, they must cope with their widowed father, Arthur, who moves into Margaret's home to suffer through the final stages of cancer. There is also the matter of a long-held family secret, revealed, of course, when they least expect it. Minot (Susan's sister and author of The Tiny One) has a refreshing, contemporary voice, and even the most mundane moments Edie talking to herself in the car, Margaret's daughter dancing on the lawn contain surprising swells of emotion. As it turns out, the revealed secret is melodramatic and far-fetched, but this novel excels all the same, buoyed up by its quiet conflicts and small, gorgeous glimpses at truth. 40,000 announced first printing; author tour. (July 21)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Minot moves nimbly from one character's consciousness to the next, illustrating the power of family to hurt and to heal....A moving portrait of the ties that bind." Kirkus Reviews
"With its warm portrayal of families and relationships and its unexpected plot twists, Minot's new novel will appeal to a range of fiction audiences....A strong candidate for most collections." Library Journal
"An impressive stylistic leap from her admired first novel....Minot shows that she is not afraid to take risks to tease out from the beautiful bones of her story its marrow of suspense." Elle
"If Katherine Mansfield had lived to give birth and bury her parents, she would have written The Brambles. This is a luminous and lyrical book; the writing is rich, but slices like a shining blade. Eliza Minot is not afraid to tackle the big subjects: birth and death, as well as love and life. It is a triumph." Mary Gordon
"It takes the first third of the novel for Minot to weave her characters together, primarily through dialogue. It's a tricky way to set up a story because, as everyone knows, we are not who we say we are, and we only rarely say what we mean, even to those closest to us. But when a writer pulls it off, as Minot does, the result is rewarding." Los Angles Times
"Minot writes radiantly about muddledness: Her prose has the brilliant quality of sharpened detail you experience when you finally get eyeglasses, and that blurred green of the trees turns out to be composed of countless distinct leaves when the ordinary turns out to be fully extraordinary." Newsday
"[Minot] delivers such consistently perceptive, even stunning sentences that it's easy to overlook the less than cohesive story and just recline inside the characters minds and listen to them think. This novel is imperfect in a way that leaves you marveling at the many things it does right." Meghan Daum, New York Times Book Review
A luminous, panoramic novel of family life and family ties, "The Brambles" tells the story of adult siblings Margaret, Max, and Edie, who, over the course of one critical season, find out more about one another--and themselves--than they ever knew was possible.
About the Author
Eliza Minot was born in Beverly, Massachusetts. She lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, with her family.