Roost, Ali Bryan
Freehand Books, 249 pages
Claudia lives in a house where every puzzle box is missing a piece, all the towels are frayed and the wallpaper border is curling at the edges. Her kids, Wesley and Joan, mash banana into everything and wear mismatched socks. Claudia has a complicated relationship with her kids’ father; you can’t really be divorced to someone you never married in the first place, but the air is filled with awkwardness when he visits anyway. Her life is messy.
Claudia’s organized and responsible brother Dan surprises their mother with an impromptu birthday trip to Cuba, the kind of trip she’s always dreamed of. Dan beams with pride, their parents are overjoyed, and Claudia shrinks into the shadows. But when their mother dies suddenly on the trip and their dad falls to pieces, it’s Claudia who welcomes her broken father into her messy life and figures out a way to help him move through the grief.
A surprising, tender, and wry look at family life, Roost will appeal to readers of Miriam Toews and Jessica Grant.