Based on an event from the author’s life, this is a story about an unusual mid-life crisis triggered by the discovery of an aunt who was mistreated for mental illness in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Coming to terms with his own family history leads to a journey of self-discovery that tests not only current relationships, but new ones as well. This novel about secrets and revengeBased on an event from the author’s life, this is a story about an unusual mid-life crisis triggered by the discovery of an aunt who was mistreated for mental illness in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Coming to terms with his own family history leads to a journey of self-discovery that tests not only current relationships, but new ones as well. This novel about secrets and revenge is told with a comic touch and will have you reading until the wee hours of the morning....
|Title||:||A Family Institution|
|Number of Pages||:||352 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
A Family Institution Reviews
This book follows a middle-aged man through his journey to uncover the truth about his family history, which has been kept secret for over 40 years. Ira, the story's protagonist, runs into several obstacles and temptations during his search for the truth, which makes him question the people he loves, and reflect on his own happiness as a middle-class family man. It is a very well-written book, with a compelling story... I couldn't put it down! (and I'm proud to say that I personally know the author - whose own life experience provided the foundation of the story)
An interesting, fast-paced adventure. The entire story takes place in about ten days - ten action-packed days! I thought the first-person narrative was really well done. I followed this character through his brief mid-life crisis and - even though he made some questionable decisions - found myself cheering him on in his quest. If you start it, be prepared to commit - as you will get sucked in and NEED to find out how the story ends. I highly recommmend this book.
Whenever I read a book by Howard Reiss, I am struck by his lyrical prose and his talent of stringing words together to make beautiful sentences. He excels at describing the thought processes of his characters in a realistic fashion and he is a master storyteller. This is important to me because it allows me to love a book even if I don't love the personality of the characters which was true for this book. Usually, it would be hard for me to read a book if I don't like the main character especially but I also realize that if a character elicits such negative responses from me, then the author did a good job of developing that character and giving him a multi-dimensional personality. This novel describes the journey of a man in a mid-life crisis to discover the truth about his past, present and future but more importantly to me, this book tells the horrors of what people with mental illnesses suffered in the past. That's an important topic to me, one that I teach so I was happy to see it explored deeply, honestly and with empathy. I would strongly recommend this book to people as well as Mr. Reiss' other novels.
A very interesting story about a man going through a mid-life crisis. I enjoyed this story immensely.
BrilliantReally wonderful writing. It takes a really talented writer to take a fairly mundane storyline and create such an interesting, insightful and thoroughly entertaining tale. The author's story telling skill and sense of humor will have me seeking out more of his work, which in my opinion is worth paying a decent price to obtain. Thumbs up.
I just finished reading this book and loved it. Once I got into the book, I could not put it down. The characters come alive and I felt like I knew them all--a friend, a family member, a work colleague. The author does a great job in making you care about the characters and keeps you coming back wanting to know how their lives turn out. A funeral of a beloved grandmother sets off a series of events that will change Ira's life. Just as in real life, one random moment can alter life's course. Ira's discovery of a long held family secret does just that, at least for a while. When he is unsuccessful in pushing his secretive family for answers to the mystery he has uncovered, Ira sets off on his own journey of discovery which takes him away from his comfortable middle class life with his wife and two kids in the burbs, to a mental hospital and a dingy transient apartment shared with a bleached blond lonely but kind nurse. His quest for some answers leads him to even more questions and unravels what he thought he knew about himself and his family but then ultimately leads him to some self-evident truths that were in fact always constant and true. In addition to loving the story, the author does a great job outlining the little known (at least to me) details about the treatment of the mentally ill throughout the late 19th and early 20th century. This historical family novel is most definitely a page-turner and will not disappoint.
PRAISE FROM THE MEDIA“If you liked Where We Belong (by Emily Giffin), you'll love A Family Institution."-IndieReader "A frank novel of family and what binds us all through our troubles, A Family Institution is a choice pick for general fiction collections." -Midwest Book Review The Midwest Book Review calls Howard Reiss "an especially gifted storyteller with a knack for creating fully developed characters and original storylines that engage the readers complete attention from first page to last."-Midwest Book ReviewReaders' Favorite says Howard Reiss is skilled "at making characters seem real and lovable in the space of a few pages or paragraphs."-Readers' Favorite A Family Institution is IndieReader approved. The "characters ring with truth."A Family Institution was a finalist in the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Awards.-IndieReader
I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway and the author was kind enough to sign it as well. I really enjoyed this book. I found myself connecting to all the characters in little ways. The author really knows how to write from the heart of real life situations and doesn't skate around the details. Ira was your typical man going through a mid life crisis but it was his past not his present that drove him to it and what a past. I won't give anything away but the ending was the best! Overall I really liked this story and hope to read more by this author.
This book was sent to me from my Goodreads entry (first win). It was a delight to receive and a delight to read. It kept me engrossed and wondering what would happen next. At times it was reminiscent of a Michigan Reads book, Annie's Ghosts A Journey into aFamily Secretby Steve Luxenberg where he goes after the secret of true events in his family. Fictional Ira is very determined to do the same, meeting some colorful characters along the way. There are passages that make you laugh out loud.Good one.
I received this book as a First Read. The pace is insanely slow. The story is interesting and provides a nice glimpse into mental illness. It can be dark and cringeworthy at times. It does however inspire one to learn more about the history of mental illness and how treatments have changed over time.