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Thicker Than Water

A Novel

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Isabel is the troubled daughter of charismatic but reckless parents who hastily wed, divorced just as fast, and distanced themselves from each other–and their child. Left to her grandparents’ care, Isabel longs for her remote, glamorous mother and for a father who is a fading memory. Unable to control her agony, Isabel rebels in perverse and dangerous ways. A captivating novel that gives new meaning to Freud’s “family romance,” Thicker Than Water vividly illuminates the fragile line between love and the darker sides of passion.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Mar 04, 1991 – A story of obsession, selfishness, lust and despair, Harrison's accomplished first novel deals with a dysfunctional family and the enduring psychic damage inflicted on a child. The narrator, Isabel, tells of growing up in L.A., the product of a brief teenage union between a vain, paranoid, destructive girl from an eccentric, wealthy, Jewish family, and a warped, brutal youth with a ``heritage of Catholic poverty.'' Emotionally abandoned by both parents (she is brought up by grandparents; her mother lives nearby but withholds intimacy; she doesn't see her father until her adolescence), Isabel accepts perverse ways of earning their favor. As a child, she is sexually abused by her mother; later, her father will repeatedly rape her. Equating pain with endearment, and sexual submissiveness and degradation with sanctification, Isabel pleads for a declaration of love from her mother as the latter dies of cancer, but is denied even that succor. Harrison relates this story in hypnotically intense prose, somewhat broadening the claustrophobic viewpoint of her protagonist by evoking what in outward respects is a typical California childhood in the 1960s. Impressively in control of her material, she will be heralded as a promising new writer. BOMC and QPB alternates.
Thicker Than Water
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Mar 20, 1991
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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