Family and Other Catastrophes
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.

Family and Other Catastrophes Details

TitleFamily and Other Catastrophes
Author
ReleaseApr 10th, 2018
PublisherMira Books
ISBN-139780778317555
Rating
GenreFiction, Humor, Adult, Did Not Finish, Funny

Family and Other Catastrophes Review

  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    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, 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.
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  • Elisa
    January 1, 1970
    This book is laugh out loud funny. I can't even remember a time when another book has literally had me giggling to myself late at night. The characters are quirky and well-described. The things that the character Emily says and does hit too close to home for me.
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    I tend to read a lot of fiction with heavy subjects and I found Family and Other Catastrophes to be a breath of fresh air! I thought my family was messed up...until I met the Glass family! Talk about dysfunction junction! I easily related to Emily's body image issues. The over the top arguments in the Glass family had me laughing throughout the book. I loved that I finished the book with a smile on my face!
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  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    January 1, 1970
    This is a quick read about a couple and their families in the week before their wedding. In real life I would have zero tolerance for the behaviors they are putting up with, but they're stuck together so they have to find a way. If you're getting married this summer, I think you should read this, but maybe afterwards. :)3.5 stars rounded up.This book came out April 10, and thanks to the publisher for providing early access to the title via Edelweiss.
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  • Taleen Alexander
    January 1, 1970
    Family and Other Catastrophes is so laugh-out-loud funny that your significant other isn't going to get any sleep if you read it at night. If you've ever cried over a haircut, you'll like this book. If you've ever been given dubious compliments, you'll like this book.If you've ever had anxieties that even you thought were weird, you'll like this book.If you've ever thought your family is the craziest around--read this book. The Glasses will change your mind.Family and Other Catastrophes is fresh Family and Other Catastrophes is so laugh-out-loud funny that your significant other isn't going to get any sleep if you read it at night. If you've ever cried over a haircut, you'll like this book. If you've ever been given dubious compliments, you'll like this book.If you've ever had anxieties that even you thought were weird, you'll like this book.If you've ever thought your family is the craziest around--read this book. The Glasses will change your mind.Family and Other Catastrophes is fresh, and all the characters' actions and banter with each other is unexpected and new. I've never read characters like this before! Who else is putting a PUA and an ardent feminist in the same book, and making them siblings, no less? The book is told from multiple POVs, and each character is completely unique, even the large cast of secondary characters (including the two little children!). I bet Borowitz even has full backstories for the relatives who are mentioned but never appear in the book.The first half of the book is more about introducing the characters (their issues and desires), and having them collide with each other as the wedding party arrives in suburban New York. The plot thickens in the second half of the book as Emily makes a shocking discovery, and her fiance David gets hit with two gut punches, all of which threaten to ruin the wedding. I enjoyed the first half of the book because the characters are so strong, but I couldn't put down the second half of the book, waiting to see how it all came together. No spoilers, but I loved the ending and thought it fit perfectly. Looking forward to reading more by Alexandra Borowitz!
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    This book was hilarious, it honestly felt like watching a comedic TV show but in book form. There's the PUA older brother, the radical feminist sister who's raising her (white) son with a "healthy fear of whiteness" and of course, Marla, the psychologist mother who routinely gaslights and diagnoses her children. Emily is a flawed main character, but that makes her easy to relate to (especially if you deal with physical insecurities and anxiety.) My only complaint is that with so many characters, This book was hilarious, it honestly felt like watching a comedic TV show but in book form. There's the PUA older brother, the radical feminist sister who's raising her (white) son with a "healthy fear of whiteness" and of course, Marla, the psychologist mother who routinely gaslights and diagnoses her children. Emily is a flawed main character, but that makes her easy to relate to (especially if you deal with physical insecurities and anxiety.) My only complaint is that with so many characters, there are scenes of dialogue where I have to re-read to make sure I know who is saying what. But each of the character is so funny that it really didn't bother me. I laughed out loud many times.
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  • Cara
    January 1, 1970
    Where’d You Go Bernadette? has always been the gold standard for me in terms of comic novels, but this book is even funnier. Like Bernadette, Family and Other Catastrophes has quirky characters and laugh-out-loud lines and scenes, but this book takes a very ordinary situation – a wedding week – and mines it for every funny payoff possible. My only complaint? I wanted more. This is the rare book that you’ll be sorry to come to the end of. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a good laugh – t Where’d You Go Bernadette? has always been the gold standard for me in terms of comic novels, but this book is even funnier. Like Bernadette, Family and Other Catastrophes has quirky characters and laugh-out-loud lines and scenes, but this book takes a very ordinary situation – a wedding week – and mines it for every funny payoff possible. My only complaint? I wanted more. This is the rare book that you’ll be sorry to come to the end of. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a good laugh – there are so many of them here.
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    Family & Other Catastrophes is the quirky tale of Emily Glass and her dysfunctional family. Emily and her fiancé travel to her hometown for their wedding and hijinks ensues. Emily is neurotic but her family brings it to a whole other level! Her mother is a therapist who feels the need to diagnose everyone, yet in reality could use a therapist herself. The week leading up to the wedding is filled with chaos and drama, and all Emily wants to do is get married and get out of there! Filled with Family & Other Catastrophes is the quirky tale of Emily Glass and her dysfunctional family. Emily and her fiancé travel to her hometown for their wedding and hijinks ensues. Emily is neurotic but her family brings it to a whole other level! Her mother is a therapist who feels the need to diagnose everyone, yet in reality could use a therapist herself. The week leading up to the wedding is filled with chaos and drama, and all Emily wants to do is get married and get out of there! Filled with quirky characters, this was at times laugh out loud funny. I had an intense disliking of so many characters, it was hard for me to get into it. Thank you @harlequinbooks for this advance reader in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Susan Crowe
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book in a giveaway through Goodreads.This book was hilarious! Emily Glass and her fiance David fly home to spend the week leading up to their wedding with family. And what a kooky family they both have. My favorite is Nathan and my least favorite is Lauren who is extremely annoying. I highly recommend for a ROFL experience. I will absolutely be on the lookout for future books by this author.
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  • Conny
    January 1, 1970
    I was a First Read Winner of this book and I really enjoyed it. Talk about a dysfunctional family, with lots of drama and issues, yet very funny at the same time. It does have some adult language and sexual situations, so if you are easily offended about that this book might not be for you. I could easily see this being made into a movie, since it had such fun dialog between the siblings. Very entertaining read.
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    * i received this for free in return for an honest review*okay, so lets get started this book overall was a good novel. The glass family are dysfunctional to the next level! i thought my family was bad but certainly not as bad as this. but this book was entertaining at times i laughed and found this book funny which is not common for me!i liked this book alot!4/5 stars
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  • Gaele
    January 1, 1970
    Sharp, funny and perfectly told as long as it’s not your family in the crosshairs – Borowitz manages to craft a story that has readers unable to turn away, even as the dysfunction can reach head-shaking levels. This is Emily’s story in the lead up to her wedding: told in time with each day before the wedding being a unique series of moments and interactions. Understand that Emily is more than a touch neurotic and a worrier – and this is only exacerbated by the outrageous and often inappropriate Sharp, funny and perfectly told as long as it’s not your family in the crosshairs – Borowitz manages to craft a story that has readers unable to turn away, even as the dysfunction can reach head-shaking levels. This is Emily’s story in the lead up to her wedding: told in time with each day before the wedding being a unique series of moments and interactions. Understand that Emily is more than a touch neurotic and a worrier – and this is only exacerbated by the outrageous and often inappropriate actions of her family members. Her mother and siblings are probably most responsible for her “everything must go perfectly” attitude, and her penchant for checking, double-checking and obsession with events. Raised by Myra – she is, of herself, a story. Myra is a psychologist, prone to diagnosing (wrongly) and gaslighting her children for effect – the effect being that occasionally she often has new input for her diagnosis. Emily’s sister Lauren is the uber-Feminist that you don’t want to meet: jumping on the next hot social media trend like Boudicca versus the Romans. Prone to horrifyingly hilarious (and wholly bereft of self-knowledge) pronouncements, she’s busily inserting herself with regularity to great effect. Emily’s brother is horribly socially inept with his odd comments and a tendency to speak (and behave) as if he were a medieval jester without the benefit of the awareness that comes from actual interactions. His flirting is painful, if hilarious for anyone not in the crosshairs, and while his comments are strange, in some ways they are often very apt and fit the situation, after you’ve had time to digest. What Borowitz has done is trotted the Glass family out onto the front porch for all to revel in their craziness – a quirky, clever series of reveals as the wedding nears, the love best at a distance feelings that Emily has for her family is clear – and surely every reader can find a correlation to someone in their own family, if not as extreme. It’s rare that I find a title that screams to my love of Monty Python-esque satire and humor – dancing the line between horrifyingly dark and pure fun – and this ticked all of those boxes. Grab a copy, plan on this before the next big family gathering (or during – I’m not going to judge) and enjoy. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. Review first appeared at I am, Indeed
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  • Cassandra
    January 1, 1970
    I found this book to be a pure delight. The main character Emily was a gem, with her neurotic worries about everything from looking older than she actually is, to terrorists on the plane, to self diagnosing herself with some highly unprobable life threatening disease every time her heart rate elevates just a bit. Her family is just as wild as she is though, but all in different ways. I laughed my way through this whole book, and found myself thinking about these well rounded characters days afte I found this book to be a pure delight. The main character Emily was a gem, with her neurotic worries about everything from looking older than she actually is, to terrorists on the plane, to self diagnosing herself with some highly unprobable life threatening disease every time her heart rate elevates just a bit. Her family is just as wild as she is though, but all in different ways. I laughed my way through this whole book, and found myself thinking about these well rounded characters days after I finished the book. I will certainly be recommending that my friends go pick up a copy of this book for themselves. A huge thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I truly appreciate it!
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  • Renee Mercer
    January 1, 1970
    The characters in this book were hilarious. I actually chuckled. Out loud, several times. I found this book's overall tone very similar to that of one of my favorite tv shows, Casual. As a reader of slightly off kilter fiction, I really appreciated the ridiculousness of this family's dynamic and Emily's instability.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    The best part of this book was making me realize how tame the drama related to my wedding was (in comparison). Of course this book was fiction and most of the characters were caricatures of caricatures. Would that be stereotypes of caricatures or caricatures of stereotypes? Otherwise the cliche of characters and situations was a bit too much for me to stomach. The bride's sister being an over the top feminist and PC diversity crazy person and her brother and brother-in-law to be both being disgu The best part of this book was making me realize how tame the drama related to my wedding was (in comparison). Of course this book was fiction and most of the characters were caricatures of caricatures. Would that be stereotypes of caricatures or caricatures of stereotypes? Otherwise the cliche of characters and situations was a bit too much for me to stomach. The bride's sister being an over the top feminist and PC diversity crazy person and her brother and brother-in-law to be both being disgusting horny perverts were too much and lost any humor they were providing. If nothing else, this book is a good reason for eloping, changing your name, and moving somewhere without telling your family.A copy of this book was provided by NetGalley and Harlequin MIRA in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Micheal
    January 1, 1970
    This book was truly hysterical in reading. I realize that everyone has some sort of dysfunctional family member or the entire family but the Glass family had me literally chuckling into the late night. I really enjoyed reading this book and finding humor that each character had. Thank you for an extremely fun read.
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  • Dawn Destefano
    January 1, 1970
    This book was a breath of fresh air. There was one night while reading in bed my husband had to move to guest room because of my laughing out loud. An hysterical book about an outrageous family getting ready to get together for a wedding. Great book for book club
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  • Langston
    January 1, 1970
    Writer has a way of creating characters that are relatable and so freaking hilarious!
  • J H
    January 1, 1970
    Funniest conglomerate of characters I have ever seen and extremely relevant for today's culture. All the hype this book is getting is very well deserved!!
  • Kaytee Cobb
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 stars. I am sorry to say that I thought this sounded fun, funny, interesting, but it turned out to have all the family drama with none of the character development and very little plot. Emily is getting married to David this week so they go home to get ready for the wedding. Their siblings and parents are all screwed up on every level, their relationship with each other is totally bizarre. I just couldn't find a lot to love about this one.....
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  • Karen Whittard
    January 1, 1970
    Quirky, fun, uplifting, funny, insightful, relatable and absolutely awesome. Great read.
  • Caitlyn Lee
    January 1, 1970
    Family dynamics in all its dysfunctional glory.I think the cover is perfect. The upside-down house with, what looks like confetti, falling out. Is exactly how I see these characters; they've all been turned upside down and are spewing their drama on the reader, and when you think they're done, another windfall of drama ensues.This isn't a book I would recommend to everyone. But if you want an easy and entertaining read and you don't get easily offended do it! This book will make any dysfunctiona Family dynamics in all its dysfunctional glory.I think the cover is perfect. The upside-down house with, what looks like confetti, falling out. Is exactly how I see these characters; they've all been turned upside down and are spewing their drama on the reader, and when you think they're done, another windfall of drama ensues.This isn't a book I would recommend to everyone. But if you want an easy and entertaining read and you don't get easily offended do it! This book will make any dysfunctional family look a little more functional
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Emily and David fly to the New York metropolitan area from San Francisco, where they met and live, to get married--both sets of parents live there, hers in Westchester, his in Connecticut. That's probably their first mistake--should have eloped, dudes! Emily suffers from various anxieties, and that's understating it; David is afraid of dying young like his mother. Emily's mother Marla wants to engage her three children in group therapy, as long as they're home--sleazy Jason, ultra-activist Laure Emily and David fly to the New York metropolitan area from San Francisco, where they met and live, to get married--both sets of parents live there, hers in Westchester, his in Connecticut. That's probably their first mistake--should have eloped, dudes! Emily suffers from various anxieties, and that's understating it; David is afraid of dying young like his mother. Emily's mother Marla wants to engage her three children in group therapy, as long as they're home--sleazy Jason, ultra-activist Lauren, and over-anxious Emily--but she has a gift for making everything about Marla. David's brother Nathan is a gamer who is trying to live in the medieval world because he's afraid to talk to real women. And that's not even mentioning the bridal party!
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  • Jennifer Decamp
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. I spent half my time annoyed by this self-destructive family with all of its quirks and neuroses and the other half entranced by how much care and love they showed each other in their own way. I also found myself grateful for my much more normal family. It's not laugh out loud, but there were definite moments I couldn't help but chuckle at the absurdity of the situations or comments -- with one time my husband asking me what I was reading. This is any easy summer vacation book full of 3.5 stars. I spent half my time annoyed by this self-destructive family with all of its quirks and neuroses and the other half entranced by how much care and love they showed each other in their own way. I also found myself grateful for my much more normal family. It's not laugh out loud, but there were definite moments I couldn't help but chuckle at the absurdity of the situations or comments -- with one time my husband asking me what I was reading. This is any easy summer vacation book full of surprising tenderness underneath a whole lot of crazy. It's narrative is like an episode of the Goldbergs. Kookiness and hurt feelings give way to shame then a need to apologize and, finally, love.
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  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    Emily is neurotic but thinks she can control it. Especially when she has her loving boyfriend soon to be husband David on her side. Things could not be better, right? Wrong!They are going for a week long family get together with her parents and both her siblings. Her mother Marla is ready to start family therapy sessions which is the perfect recipe for disaster. Funny and humorous, but deep and heartfelt at the same time it reveals layers of family relations, deep love for each other as well as Emily is neurotic but thinks she can control it. Especially when she has her loving boyfriend soon to be husband David on her side. Things could not be better, right? Wrong!They are going for a week long family get together with her parents and both her siblings. Her mother Marla is ready to start family therapy sessions which is the perfect recipe for disaster. Funny and humorous, but deep and heartfelt at the same time it reveals layers of family relations, deep love for each other as well as their dysfunctionality Highly recommended for all of us with "'crazy"" families to show that we are not alone.
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  • Angie
    January 1, 1970
    I am so sorry to have to give this book only two stars. I have never given a book a rating that low before. As others have agreed in their reviews, the premise sounded very promising for a lively, funny tale of a dysfunctional family during one sister's wedding week. But. It. Just. Wasn't. The main characters were unlikeable caricatures, and I could just never get into it. Truth be told, I couldn't even get past the first couple of chapters before throwing in the towel. I do thank Goodreads for I am so sorry to have to give this book only two stars. I have never given a book a rating that low before. As others have agreed in their reviews, the premise sounded very promising for a lively, funny tale of a dysfunctional family during one sister's wedding week. But. It. Just. Wasn't. The main characters were unlikeable caricatures, and I could just never get into it. Truth be told, I couldn't even get past the first couple of chapters before throwing in the towel. I do thank Goodreads for the opportunity, but for me Family and Other Catastrophes was pretty much a catastrophe.
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  • Lynne Cooper
    January 1, 1970
    Thank God that’s over, because this horrible family stressed me out! I could only read bits at a time. Poor Emily; her mom really screwed her up. And likely she will pass it on to any children. Jason; how this guy has not had his ass kicked yet is beyond me.Lauren; well, I can’t even go there. I really wanted to like this book because I liked the idea. Unfortunately, it just went downhill as each day went on.
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  • Claire Barfell
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book on Goodreads Giveaways. It is supposed to be funny and I did find some humor in it, but that was definitely offset by the vulgarity and bad language in it. I do not consider myself a prude and I think the story would have been a lot better without it. The story centers around Emily and David who go home to Emily's parents for the wedding. Her family is definitely very quirky and dysfunctional. However, it is too sexually graphic for my taste.
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  • Ellen
    January 1, 1970
    Emily and David fly home to get married, spending time with their families. Emily is anxious about everything, coming from a dysfunctional family with a therapist mother, passive father, divorced slimy brother, and a politically over the top sister. The characters are not very appealing, and I feel anxiety disorder was made fun of, which made it hard to laugh at. Although there were some laughs, this was not my taste.
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  • Stephanie Fossum
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book in the Goodreads Giveaways. I thought that it would be funny. I did not find it funny and found the characters extremely dysfunctional and the story rather unbelievable.
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