The close-knit extended family of Cassia’s childhood is quite different from her father’s. Hers is the one he leaped into when he married her mother. What was he escaping? And what was he embracing in the act?
As my newest novel, What’s Left, unfolds, hers is a family with a mission and a place in the world. Everything her father accomplishes in the ensuing years is enabled by their enterprise and unity.
For Cassia, her brothers, and her beloved cousins, the big question becomes: Will this be too confining for their personal ambitions and dreams? Or will it assure them a secure future if they settle in and stay put?
Do they ever think of themselves more as a tribe than as individuals? We follow our elders in decisions and wisdom?
A family business is full of peril. How will they choose?
In a passage I cut from the final edition, the family’s spiritual practices are considered. On one hand there’s the Orthodox Christianity; on the other, Tibetan Buddhism.
Well, you could also see it as a refuge for my family. As a calming influence guiding us through some turbulent times. Through it, our eyes returned to the greater good in our shared mission. We were given a vocabulary and fresh ways of thinking about the eternal elements of life. We accepted its reliable foundation in teaching these to our children – including me.
Well, that could be one uniting factor. I see another family that’s held together by its emphasis on sports and sports medicine. As for others?
What holds your family together? How far does it extend?