An American Family
A sprawling multi-generational novel about five siblings in a Jewish-American family. Beginning the day JFK was assassinated and ending on 9/11, the story takes us to Woodstock, Vietnam, Haight-Ashbury, the music scene on the Sunset Strip and the upper west side of Manhattan. More than just one family’s story, this book is a trip through the tumultuous changes in America during these years. More
The sprawling narrative of five siblings, born in the 1940’s, beginning on the day John Kennedy was shot and ending on 9/11. Between these two iconic dates, we follow the fortunes, love affairs, marriages, divorces, successes and failures of the Pearls, an immigrant Polish-Jewish family, from the Lower East Side of New York, to Long Island and beyond.
The oldest, Jackie -- a charming, womanizing attorney -- drifts into politics with help from the Nassau County mob. His younger brother, Michael, a gambler and entrepreneur, makes and loses fortunes riding the ebb and flow of high-risk business decisions. Their sister, Elaine, marries young and raises two children before realizing that she wants more from life than being merely a wife and mother and embarking on a new life in her forties. Their sensitive and brilliant half-brother, Stephen, deals with the growing consciousness that he is gay in an era that was not gay friendly. Stephen goes to Vietnam as a medic, comes home, becomes a writer, and survives the AIDS epidemic of the eighties. The baby of the family, Bobbie, high-strung and rebellious, gets pregnant at Woodstock, moves to San Francisco as a single mother during the “Summer of Love,” then winds up in Los Angeles as a highly-successful record producer.
In a larger sense this book is not merely the story of one family, but the story of most immigrant families – Jewish, Italian, Irish, African-American – as they enter the melting pot and emerge as a new generation, as well as the story of the tumultuous years of the second half of the twentieth century.