Melanie Hobson; SUMMER CANNIBALS; Grove Press (Fiction: Literary) 16.00 ISBN: 9780802128522
Byline: Meredith Grahl Counts
Melanie Hobson's Summer Cannibals is a vibrant, vicious family portrait in which three adult daughters come home.
The family matriarch, Margaret, has summoned everyone to rally around her very pregnant daughter, Pippa. The girls' father is enraged that Pippa's debilitating depression required her return, interrupting his preparation for a garden tour. As they arrive at the house, which sits on a cliff overlooking Hamilton, Ontario, the girls find that it is bursting at the seams -- with resentments and groceries, priceless heirlooms and hurtful secrets. This is a place that is both rich and troubled -- as are those within it.
From the first page, individual character dissatisfactions set the plot boiling. The daughters, all mothers themselves, are each otherwise very different, all with independent streaks. Some sort of doom is grotesquely palpable. Things seem bound to go awry at this reunion, and pity the stranger who'd interrupt it.
As each family member is developed, their differing attitudes about the others become clear; the effect is stunning...