The Tender Land

By Kathleen Finneran,

Book cover of The Tender Land: A Family Love Story

Book description

An extraordinary memoir of a family haunted by tragedy: “I’ve read very few contemporary novels that can rival Finneran’s nonfiction.” —Jonathan Franzen

A superb portrait of family life, this “absorbing and thoughtful” memoir is a love story unlike any other (Library Journal). The Finnerans—Irish Catholic parents with five children in…

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Tender Land as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

It is fair to say that this is my favorite memoir I’ve ever read. I’m shocked it didn’t make bestseller lists when it came out. Finneran is a poet, who through the language, attention to detail, and strategic pacing of key scenes, makes readers see and feel what she wants us to see and feel. This book offered me, as a teacher of college writing, numerous perfect examples of how scenes can be developed to drop readers into a moment, to transport them. Finneran focuses the memoir on how her brother’s suicide affected her whole, big, Catholic family. The Tender…

From Melanie's list on inhabiting unthinkable loss.

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