Cherise Wolas’ second novel, The Family Tabor, was the latest Advance reading copy that this pedometer geek reader read. It was obtained through a First Reads Goodreads giveaway. This is the extended review.
The Family Tabor
By Cherise Wolas
Published by Flatiron Books, 2018
This novel is a character-driven novel of a family in crisis. Although at first, the lives of the characters appear to be perfect, at least superficially. It is only as the story progresses that the characters begin to fray.
The patriarch of the family, Harry Tabor, is selected as Palm Springs’ Man of the Decade for his work enriching the lives of others in outstanding and uncommon ways. He calls his family back to spend a weekend in celebration of the gala where he is to receive this honor of a ‘life well lived.’ For thirty years, he has been the head of a humanitarian enterprise that brings hope and promise to people who are persecuted by resettling them in the United States. One afternoon while playing tennis, Harry comes to grips with his past.
His family comes to Palm Springs, but each of his children (Phoebe, Camille, and Simon, with wife Elena and two daughters Lucy and Isabel in tow) has their own issues to hide. His wife Roma does too, and even Harry is about to realize that all is not as perfect as once believed.
Phoebe, a high-powered attorney, is pretending to have the perfect boyfriend in Aaron Green, but she has made him up. Will the family figure it out before the weekend is through?
Camille, a social anthropologist, is not sure what to do with her life. Her life spent studying the little known natives is now over, and now back home, she is having difficulty fitting in. To go back to where she felt most comfortable, to marry her partner Valentine are some of the issues for Camille.
Simon, also a lawyer, is not sleeping through the night. His wife Elena and he are on the edge of falling apart over religion. She is Roman Catholic and he is Jewish, and where it once didn’t matter, it suddenly does. Especially in regards to their children, Lucy and Isabel.
Roma, wife, mother, and child psychologist knows there are secrets that her children are keeping from her, but how to get them to talk. Not only that, but she feels even Harry is hiding something.
All the action of the novel basically takes place at the family home during the weekend as the siblings and parents interact.
Trying to keep Camille and Phoebe straight throughout the novel was difficult as so much of the time since they were often together.
While this pedometer geek reader has not yet read the author’s debut novel, The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, this reader was aware of the story since it has been suggested by one of its members for the library book group. Because of having heard about the novel, it was a delight to see the reference to her first novel when the author mentions Elena reading an Ashby’s book, Fictional Family Life.
Having read The Family Tabor, this reader might be ready to read her first one in the near future.