Posted by: istop4books | June 20, 2009

A Summons to Memphis by Peter Taylor

A Summons to Memphis A Summons to Memphis by Peter Taylor


My review


rating: 3 of 5 stars
This one was not at all what I thought it would be. Pulitzer prize winner, Peter Taylor tells the story (I thought at one point it might be autobiographical, and it might, but the author married and lived in several places, unlike the main character) of Phillip Carver, a book collector who lives in Manhattan, who is summoned to his father’s home in Memphis, when his 2 spinster sisters realize the old man is going to remarry and they, in turn, could lose the family fortune to some fluzey. As he deals with his sisters and his father, he relates the story of his life, and his 3 siblings, very much manipulated and twisted at the hands of their father. It seems that in the prime of their adolescence, father had to move the family from Nashville to Memphis, and this move – even though their economic and social status remained the same – was traumatic enough to last into adulthood. While the adult interactions hit close to home and made me continue to read, as I found similarities with my own upbringing and family – I wanted to shout “GROW UP ALREADY!!!” The narrative was lengthy, drawn out and repetitive, paragraphs ran on for 2 or more pages – but, this character-driven book was a remarkable analysis of family dynamics and of just how much influence a parent can have on a child. This book wrapped up almost identically to how my family dynamic wrapped up. Wish it had been written with more fluidity, but worth my while to read it.

View all my reviews.

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