Dysfunction is the hallmark of the Lansing sisters' lives and relationships in Roth's family drama. The primary character is the late Susan Lansing, whose deeply troubled psyche has carved permanent scars on her daughters' lives. Since the action takes place over a short span of time, family secrets are revealed at a fast and furious pace. Roth definitely knows drama.
The three Lansing sisters have studiously avoided their mother and each other since a disastrous Thanksgiving four years earlier. However, when Susan is killed in a car accident, Margaret, Rose and Quincy are forced to face each other and family ghosts. As mothers go, Susan was cruel, and the sisters were in emotional competition, desperately vying for her love and acceptance.
Each sister chose a different path to escape, none of which has been completely successful. When shocking secrets from Susan's life are uncovered, the sisters realize they have a choice. Can they bridge the gap and build true sisterhood? (ZEBRA, Nov., 352 pp., $6.99)