It is no secret that I love women's fiction, which happen to most often be written by women. Joshua Henkin's latest novel The World Without You was an amazing women's fiction novel penned by a man.
It is the July 4, 2005 when the Frankel family converges on their summer home. Parents David and Marilyn along with their grown daughters (Noelle, Clarissa and Lily) and families have come for a memorial for their son/brother Leo, who was killed in Iraq while he was reporting from there. He has left behind a young son Calder and wife Thisbe who are also coming for this occasion.
While this novel takes place over the span of just a few days, the family dynamics are all revealed as the parents plan to divulge their future plans - shocking their children. The sisters all have their own issues to deal with as well. From Noelle's move to Israel and adherence to strict Judaic law, to Clarissa's quest to become a mother, Lily's relationship with her boyfriend, and Thisbe's new boyfriend, there are plenty of things this family is experiencing over this holiday weekend which marks the one year anniversary of Leo's death. Henkin's characters feel real and complex, and his ability to create a believable family with all the ins and outs of family relationships made reading this novel enjoyable from beginning to end. While I doubt Henkin plans on writing more about the Frankels, I would love checking in with this family again to see how things have developed since 2005.
The World Without You has been receiving good reviews from many bloggers and reviewers - all deserved. This is one book I loved and I can't wait to read more by Henkin.