Review: Family and Other Catastrophes by Alexandra Borowitz @Alex_Borowitz


Release date: April 10, 2018

Publisher: MIRA

Genre: Contemporary Fiction


A delightfully quirky debut about family bonds and the chaos that ensues when nature and lack of nurture collide.

Emily Glass knows she’s neurotic. But she’s got it under control. Sort of. She dons compression socks when she flies (because, you know, deep vein thrombosis) and responds to people routinely overestimating her age with more Lifespin classes and less gluten. Thankfully, she also has David, the wonderful man she’ll soon call husband—assuming they can survive wedding week with her wildly dysfunctional family.

Emily’s therapist mother, Marla, who’s been diagnosing her children since they were in diapers, sees their homecoming as the perfect opportunity for long-overdue family therapy sessions. Less enthused are Emily and her two siblings: ardently feminist older sister Lauren, who doesn’t think the wedding party should have defined gender roles, and recently divorced brother Jason, whose overzealous return to singlehood is only tempered by his puzzling friendship with David’s Renaissance Faire—enthusiast brother.

As the week comes to a tumultuous head, Emily wants nothing more than to get married and get as far away from her crazy relatives as possible. But that’s easier said than done when Marla’s meddling breathes new life into old secrets. After all, the ties that bind family together may bend, but they aren’t so easily broken.

Laugh-out-loud funny and endearingly raw, Family and Other Catastrophes is as entertaining as your favorite sitcom and introduces Alexandra Borowitz as an outstanding new voice in humorous fiction.


If you think your family is slightly insane and highly dysfunctional then you probably haven’t met the Glass family. They are all SO messed up, reading this was like watching a train wreck, but I could not get enough of this bizarre family with dynamics and kooky behavior that simultaneously made me snort with laughter and shake my head in disgust.

Emily heads home the week before her wedding and this book is divided into sections, one for each day leading up to her wedding. Right from the start, you know you’re in for a good time, Emily may as well be the definition of neurotic and the rest of her family is just as unique and quirky. Her sister, Lauren was obnoxious, she takes the term social justice warrior to a whole new level, she’s contrary just for the sake of it and the stuff that came out of her mouth was horrifyingly hilarious. My other favorite character, (I use favorite loosely here, these people are no one I would actually want to meet, but they were amazingly entertaining) was Nathan, David’s brother. He was just such a weirdo, he spoke like some bizarre throwback to medieval times and had the social graces of a bull. I’m giggling again just thinking about his flirting.

This was laugh out loud funny with some heartfelt, endearing moments thrown in for good measure. Fun is the best way to describe my experience reading this little gem and the characters totally made the book for me, they’re insane and quirky and just what I needed to read over Easter weekend as I spent time with my own extended family! 😜

Family and Other Catastrophes in three words: Hilarious, Risqué and Eccentric.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy.

2 thoughts on “Review: Family and Other Catastrophes by Alexandra Borowitz @Alex_Borowitz

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