Family Plots
Mary Patrick Kavanaugh
book reviews:
· general fiction
· chick lit/romance
· sci-fi/fantasy
· graphic novels
· nonfiction
· audio books

Click here for the curledup.com RSS Feed

· author interviews
· children's books @
   curledupkids.com
· DVD reviews @
   curledupdvd.com

newsletter
win books
buy online
links

home

for authors
& publishers


for reviewers

click here to learn more




Buy *Family Plots: Love, Death and Tax Evasion* by Mary Patrick Kavanaugh online

Family Plots: Love, Death and Tax Evasion
Mary Patrick Kavanaugh
iUniverse
Paperback
300 pages
October 2008
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

buy this book now or browse millions of other great products at amazon.com
previous reviewnext review

Kavanaughís autobiographical novel is a successful melding of real-life dilemmas with a plotline too outrageous not to be based in truth. From the Loma Prieta earthquake in northern California in 1989, when her family falls apart, to the ten-year anniversary of the event ten years later, the author rides a rollercoaster of financial double-dealing, a breakup, a sham marriage, and a frustrating attempt to create a viable family environment.

Living on credit cards and limited resources, when Mary breaks from her ex, the musician father of her small daughter, the first item of business is a job. Interested in the field of private investigation, Mary renews contact with an old boss, Dan Murphy, in hopes of negotiating employment. Also recently freed from a stagnant relationship, Dan has romance on his mind, Maryís infatuation with the slightly-older suitor blinding her to his chaotic financial practices.

Thus begins an odyssey, albeit hilarious, of rationalization in the face of shoddy business dealings. A criminal attorney, Dan has formed financial partnerships with a number of questionable characters. But in her zeal to have a ďrealĒ marriage and give her daughter security, Mary blithely overlooks Danís troubling baggage to satisfy her dreams, including a deep affection for Danís parents, a quirky couple who routinely hide cash in paper bags in the basement of their home.

The more secrets she uncovers, the more entrenched Mary becomes in her commitment to the marriage. The red flags are waving, but this determined woman refuses to acknowledge the dangerous territory on which she treads. Danís family is rife with financial legerdemain, but equally devoted to the care and maintenance of their other family plots - the prepaid plots in a nearby cemetery.

Mysteries are plentiful: the death of Danís brother years before; Danís current business partner, a shady miscreant who absconds with the cash in the middle of an important deal; and Danís many business associates, most with felonious backgrounds. Operating below the radar, Dan actively obscures any paper trail that might implicate him in monetary wrongdoing and handles all transactions in cash.

Co-signing Danís business practices, Mary keeps the family afloat, just barely, until reality strikes, rendering their financial problems irrelevant. Wry, acerbic and self-deprecating, this is a sad tale of love among the ruins of illegal deals, a house of cards destined to collapse under the weight of subterfuge. The first-person narrative allows the author to riff along the margins of society, charming the reader with her sly behavior, all in the name of the American dream. The she wakes up: ďIllness and death - they were just not glamorous.Ē



Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Luan Gaines, 2009

buy *Family Plots: Love, Death and Tax Evasion* online
click here for more info
Click here to learn more about this month's sponsor!


fiction · sf/f · comic books · nonfiction · audio
newsletter · free book contest · buy books online
review index · links · · authors & publishers
reviewers

site by ELBO Computing Resources, Inc.