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A Family Affair.

A FAMILY AFFAIR. Marcus Major. 2004, Read by Richard Allen, 6 cds. 733 hrs. Sound Library, BBC Audiobooks America, 0-7927-3126-3. $54.95. Vinyl; plot, author, reader notes. A

A tight-knit family shows signs of unraveling in this fast-paced, often hilarious, yet moving novel. Two adult brothers, Myles and Amir, struggle with how to react to their 60-year-old father's "stepping out" on their mother Each brother is happily married to strong women for whom infidelity would not be an option--that is, if they value their health. Added to the mix is Jasmine, a teenage cousin with attitude, whom their parents have taken in. Jasmine is attracted to a boy who was a resident of a group home run by one of the brother's wives. Jasmine is a star-quality character--intelligent, bold, independent, and yet kind.

Narrator Allen is one of my velvet-voiced favorites. He easily moves from urban African American to Hispanic dialect and handles both male and female voicing with aplomb. Each character in the novel receives his or her due, including Peggy, the cheated-on matriarch of the family. Peggy is a complex character garnering both sympathy and antipathy. The dynamics of late-life marriage are thoughtfully penetrated without knee-jerk moralist sentiment. Lively and entertaining, this production is a rich hoot of an audio--a listener's delight on many levels. It contains explicit sex. Nancy Chaplin, Libn., VCCW, Goochland, VA
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Author:Chaplin, Nancy
Article Type:Audiobook Review
Date:May 1, 2004
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