I discovered Caprice Crane on Twitter (@capricecrane). On slow news days, I find myself researching whom the authors whose work I admire and enjoy follow on Twitter. Caprice Crane has quickly become the source of multiple laughs per day, and as a fan of the new Melrose Place, which she writes for, it's clear there's the same humor. Although I'm not certain, I would wager Caprice is responsible for this line (reconstructed from my memory): "Ella, if you need help getting in contact with quality designers, I can help. Marc Jacobs and I play in the same capture-the-flag league." When she tweeted about the release of her latest novel, I immediately requested it from the library.
Summary: Family Affair is a novel about the marital ups and downs of Layla and Brett Foster. Layla's father left when she was young, and her mother died when she was in high school. Brett, her high school sweetheart, and his family essentially adopted Layla. Brett starts to think of Layla as more of a sister than a wife and thinks his family prefers her to him.
Review: From the very first page, I enjoyed this book. I love Caprice Crane's writing style, and I instantly liked the characters, especially Layla, and their senses of humor. When Brett and Layla quickly began acting stupidly, I got frustrated. It would have been so simple to solve their problems initially. I stuck with the book, and despite a few unsurprising events, I fell in love with it all over again. Did I love it from the beginning to the end? No, but I loved it. As I sat on a plane reading the last one hundred pages, I was laughing and crying. I love books that evoke those different emotions. The tears came from the realness and likability of the characters; the laughter was a necessary antidote and helped me love them even more. As a whole, the book is fantastic, despite my aversion to the middle parts while I was reading them. I confess, had I not been on an airplane, I may have laid this book down for awhile, but I'm so glad I read it straight through in a day. I'm looking forward to reading Caprice Crane's first two novels, Forget About It and Stupid and Contagious.
Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5) - loved it
Publication date: September 29, 2009
Source: my local public library