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One of these things is not like the other. That's how Cheri Matzner felt growing up in her adoptive family, and it's what continues to define her as she tries to start a family of her own. Funny and fierce, desperate for connection yet pushing it away with both hands, she needs to jump-start a marriage in danger of flatlining and save her career from scandal. But Cheri is still contending with a complicated relationship with her parents-her aging Italian bombshell of a mother and a distant father who looms large, even in death-unaware of the sacrifices they made to be together or of the difficult truths and lies in their marriage. When tragedy unravels Cheri's well-designed defenses, she is thrust into an odyssey of acceptance that brings her full circle back to her dramatic origins.
Sometimes it takes half a lifetime to come of age. To be able to glimpse our parents beyond their roles as our parents. To uncover the many versions of truth within our family stories and within our own. And to laugh at it all just a little bit sooner.
About the Author
Tracy Barone earned her MFA in dramatic writing at NYU and has worked as a screenwriter and playwright. She has worked in Hollywood, where she was the Executive Producer on Wild, Wild, West, Rosewood, My Fellow Americans, and Money Train and was instrumental in the acquisition and development of Men in Black and Ali. In addition to an MFA, Barone holds a B.A. from NYU.
Smart, witty and immensely readable, HAPPY FAMILY brilliantly examines the power of family and the secrets we keep, and leaves us cheering for its heroine, Cheri-funny, fierce, aching for connection but independent to a fault-whose mid-life coming-of-age is wise, heartfelt, and a pure page-turning pleasure to read."—Maria Semple, author of national bestseller Where'd You Go, Bernadette"
In her debut novel, screenwriter, playwright, and film producer Barone uses a wide lens to capture Cheri Matzner's life, from a precarious beginning to a confident, peaceful middle age... Cinematic in its scope, this novel takes readers on a broad, deep, and poignant journey alongside a tough, admirable woman and the varied characters who populate her life."—Kirkus"
It's not often that I stumble across a novel as smart, as tender, and as exquisitely rendered as HAPPY FAMILY. Tracy Barone treats the subject in a completely refreshing and original way — and how is that even possible? This book Blew. Me. Away."—Elin Hilderbrand, author of THE RUMOR"