From what I can tell, this novel was not intended as some larger metaphor for dysfunctional families; but for how specifically dysfunctional they are, this particular (fictional) family could be many---could be your very own! (...Though for your sake, I hope that it isn’t.)
“The Family Fang” is as compelling as the characters are destructive, as tender as they are shocking. Somehow the absurdity of their behavior only heightens the humanity of this cast of characters are destructive, as tender as they are shocking. Somehow the absurdity of their behavior only heightens the humanity of this cast of oddballs, and so the result is something refreshingly different from anything that I have read in awhile and nowhere near as goofy as the description may sound
February 2011I loved this big, gorgeous novel in which characters and story lines flow, merge, and diverge like the streams and channels of a river. The story spans more than 100 years in the fictional town of Port Bonita, Washington, and its surrounding wilderness. Evison pulls together such grand themes as our relationship to the land, what we make of our past, and what we owe the future. His writing style is unpretentious and delightful, a combination of big ideas and down-to-earth, friendly delivery that's perfectly suited to this quintessentially American novel. -- Christie Olson Day, Gallery Bookshop &, Mendocino, CA
Set in the fictional town of Port Bonita, on Washington State's rugged Pacific coast, "West of Here" is propelled by a story that both re-creates and celebrates the American experience.