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“Rebecca Kauffman’s Chorus is a family saga with lovingly drawn characters and a real feel for sibling relationships. Seven siblings in the 1950s remember back to their mother’s early death in the late 1929s, with the differences and vagaries of memory that I find fascinating. For fans of Elizabeth Strout, Jane Smiley (e.g., her Last Hundred Years trilogy), and Alice Munro.”Genevieve,
A Great Good Place for Books
The seven Shaw siblings have long been haunted by two early and profoundly consequential events. Told in turns from the early twentieth century through the 1950s, the story builds as each sibling relays their own versions of the memories that surround both their mother’s mysterious death and the circumstances of one sister’s scandalous teenage pregnancy. As they move into adulthood, the siblings assume new roles: caretaker to their aging father, addict, enabler, academic, decorated veteran, widow, and mothers and fathers to the next generation. Entangled in a family knot, the Shaw siblings face divorce, drama, and death while haunted by a mother who was never truly there. Through this lens, they all seek not only to understand how her death shaped their family, but also to illuminate the insoluble nature of the many familial experiences we all encounter—the concept of home, the tenacity that is a family’s love, and the unexpected ways through which healing can occur. Chorus is a hopeful story of family, of loss and recovery, of complicated relationships forged between brothers and sisters as they move through life together, and of the unlikely forces that first drive them away and then ultimately back home.