Saturday, November 7, 2009

Not Quite a Party of Four

The Kids are All Right by Diana Welch & Liz Welch with Amanda Welch & Dan Welch
I read reviews of this book both in Glamour and Entertainment Weekly, and sounded really intrigued by the book. I went out and bought the book, but had no idea how quickly and easily I'd fall in love with this family.

The book is a memoir told from the voices of the four Welch siblings, (in birth order) Amanda, Liz, Daniel, and Diana. The kids didn't have what you'd call the easiest time growing up. First their father died in a car accident. Then their mother found out he had left the family almost bankrupt. The same year their mother was diagnosed with cancer. She wound up dieing a few years later leaving the kids as orphans. When their mother Ann Williams, a soap opera actress, died the oldest Amanda was in college and the youngest Diana was around 8 years old. However, instead of having a Party of Five type moment, the older two sisters decided it made the most sense for the siblings to be split up each leaving with a different family.

One thing that is really interesting about the book is that it is told from 4 different point of view. Each chapters is about a page or two long, and then the following chapter is told from a different siblings point of view. Since they're all trying to remember events that happened back in the 1980s there are a few discrepancies. For example when the two eldest sisters first learn about their mother's cancer we hear it from Liz's point of view who tells us, "I think Mom said that the tumor was the size of a grapefruit." Whereas the very next chapter is Amanda's who as the oldest probably remembers the scene slightly clearer and tells us, "Actually, Mom had cervical cancer ans the tumor was only three centimeters wide, the size of a quarter. The grapefruit-size tumor came later."

Reading the book its hard not to really feel for all the Welch kids. By the end of the book when they are all finally reunited I did shed a few tears. The do have a website which is nice because it gives you the chance to "check in" with the grown-up Welches to make sure they're doing ok. They even share family pictures taking during the time the book takes place.

When I started it less than I week ago I really couldn't put it down. Each chapter is so short that it always seems easy enough to just read one more, and still be reading hours later. I would highly recommend this book especially if you're looking for an emotional read that a bit heart wrenching. But its good to know that the Welch kids are all right.


1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a great book, I will definitely be checking it out.