Wednesday, October 15, 2014

book review: Reunion by Hannah Pittard

The basics: Reunion is the story of Chicago screenwriter Kate Pulaski and her brother and sister. The titular reunion happens in Atlanta when their estranged father dies, leaving behind their many half-siblings and ex-stem moms. Kate is shocked her siblings want to go to the funeral, but she begrudgingly joins them.

My thoughts: Not very far into Reunion, I looked up Hannah Pittard's biography because I figured she had to be from the same part of Atlanta in which I grew up. She nails the details of geography and attitude of the city in a way only someone who shares my love/hate relationship with it can. As I read, I was simultaneously homesick for Atlanta and reminded of why I left. Kate certainly shares my ambivalence of Atlanta: "It's that it reminds me of all that is fake about the sweetness of the South."

As much as I enjoyed the setting of this novel, I would have loved it if it were set anywhere. Reunion is far from a feel-good family story. The Pulaskis are dysfunctional and realistically flawed. As close as Kate is with her siblings, each is keeping secrets. The dark humor of Kate infuses the novel's tone with some levity as they individually and collectively face many challenges and divulge secrets. Reunion is so good because of Pittard's characters and writing.

Favorite passage: "I give Atlanta a hard time and I certainly give my father's people a hard time. When it comes right down to it, though, I like being from Georgia. But it requires being somewhere else for me to appreciate how special it is. It's a bad relationship--or maybe the truest kind of relationship. Look. I'm trying to be honest. I like it best when it's not around. Because it lives in my memory, completely malleable, completely disposed to my own fantasies and imaginations. It's a cool thing to be able to say when I'm in Chicago--that I'm a Georgia peach--but when I'm here, the skin isn't so fuzzy."

The verdict: Reunion is an engaging and wise novel. Like Kate, I found humor at inappropriate times. I devoured this slim novel in twenty-four hours and loved every minute I spent with the Pulaskis and Hannah Pittard.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Length: 288 pages
Publication date: October 7, 2014
Source: publisher

Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Reunion from Amazon (Kindle edition.)

Want more? Visit Hannah Pittard's website and follow her on Twitter.

As an affiliate, I receive a small commission when you make a purchase through any of the above links. Thank you for helping to support my book habits that bring more content to this blog!


  1. I was hoping this would be a winner... kind of like This is Where I Leave You. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  2. I can't wait to read this! It sounds so great.


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Happy reading!