Close is a novel of family and suspense. Single mom Kik Marcheson is doing the best she can -- but effort doesn’t seem to count for much in the parenting department. Her oldest daughter is swimming in the deep end of adolescence; the middle-child slash good-girl is fraying along the edges; and the baby, a quirky kindergartner, has befriended an imaginary playmate. When a TV therapist offers help, they take it. And then things really get bad.
Erika Raskin grew up to the sound of typewriter music. Her mother, bestselling novelist Barbara Raskin, was a rollicking story-teller who could turn mundane trips to the grocery store into readable high drama. Marcus Raskin, Erika's dad, was an author of non-fiction but still delighted in getting his daughter to make up back-stories of unsuspecting passers-by. She learned at an early age to collect details, catalog interesting behaviors, and then put them on paper.
(In short, she joined the family business.)
Erika has written essays for print and radio, articles and short stories. Her fiction has been recognized by the Reynolds Price competition, Glimmertrain, and the Virginia Commission on the Arts. She was a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Erika's first novel, CLOSE, was published by Harvard Square Editions in October of 2014. CLOSE was a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards.
Erika and her husband Keith have three (grown-up) offspring and a peculiar dog with a fondness for lingerie. They live in the mountains outside of Charlottesville, Virginia.
I got to read an advance copy and LOVED it. Close is a very insightful look at a family with three daughters and divorced parents. While trying to get help for the daughters this family experiences a terror that is tangible for the reader. The family dynamic is this novel mimics real life and the humor intertwined throughout rings true. Close is an easy, engaging read and I highly recommend it!
Close wasn't the kind of book I'd normally read but I still liked it. This book was written from quite a few POVs and that gave the reader perspective on the situation the family was in. Because of this, I feel like different readers will have different opinions about who's fault it was that the things that happened, happened so it's a book that you can really discuss.
It had some humor and at some points, I put the book down and took a minute to just laugh at something one of the characters said or thought.
I don't think the book was aimed to a special age or gender group, I think everyone above 13 can read it and gain something from it. This is also a result of the author writing from different POVs.
The happenings in Close isn't something that rarely happens, it's quite ordinary that families have similar problems as the family in the book so I think Close could be used for educational purposes.
I gave Close 3 out of 5 stars because though I liked it and thought it was alright, it's not one of my favorite books.
Raskin's debut novel is one for all of us who understand the quote "normal is a setting on a washing machine'. Raskin's primary character, Kit, is like so many of us who think that every other family is 'getting it right' while we are blundering our way through parenthood... and life.This delightful book was written with a sense of humor, a nod to reality and recognizes the balance in relationships that can seem all too one sided. At the same time Raskin endears the reader to the good intentions that drive Kik's actions, even if they are not always the best model of parenting, as judged by a 'critical audience' as we have all experienced at one time or another. All throughout, Raskin uses her wit and humor to keep it all part of the human experience. All of this...then add the fact that I stayed up way too late one night reading because I couldn't wait to know the outcome! I truly hope Raskin will continue to write in a way that helps us laugh at the trials of parenting while providing that gentle push to judge less; both ourselves and others.
Close/Erika Raskin I’ve been an avid follower of Raskin’s writings for many years. I am thrilled that she’s written a novel and I was not disappointed. I was hooked from the first chapter.
It’s the story of divorced parents who are trying to raise their three daughters. There’s a mix of dysfunction and messiness mixed with love and concern (just like with most of us). They find themselves in family therapy and things get really interesting.
Each character is unique, complicated and full of life, love, struggle and hope. Each sentence reflects the author’s own observation, experiences, wisdom and humor of life’s joys and pains.
The book stayed in my head (and my heart) until I finished it. Anxiety was replaced by a sense of growth and the power of love and second chances.
I’m hoping this is only the beginning of Raskin’s novels.
I just finished Erika Raskin's new book- Closed. I LOVED it!! It's brilliantly written--one of those rare novels that is so accessible yet rich with the deep complexities of being a mother, a parent, a teenager, a professional, a person yearning to do what's best and right and trying to navigate the many obstacles that often overwhelm us. I related to all of the wonderful characters--it's a page-turner. My 14 year-old made me give her an "episode by episode" account each day on what was happening to the girls...LOVE this book! Get it for your Book Clubs!
The Marcheson family is slowly coming undone. The parents are divorced, and Kik, the mom, is afraid she’s about to lose her teaching job. The oldest daughter is skipping school, doing drugs, and angry most of the time. The middle daughter is cracking under the family stress, and the youngest is precocious. Grasping at straws, they turn to a TV psychologist for help. Just as they are beginning to see improvements, one of the girls goes missing. The crisis will either tear the family apart forever or help them bind together.
Close by Erika Raskin, looks at the fragile link that holds families together. The unraveling of one thread can rapidly lead to the disassembling of the whole unit. Parents and children may have the best intentions, but they don’t always let their true selves be known. Instead, they may hide sadness and insecurity behind a mask of anger, sarcasm, disorganization, and overwork. Finding a way out is difficult, because someone has to know how to take the first step. But if they can find a way to express love and trust with each other, they may be able to carve a path to a brighter future.
Close switches back and forth between the Mom’s point of view and that of each of the two oldest daughters. This lends a little perspective that helps readers understand each of their stories and makes it readable by a wide range of ages from 15 up.
The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I had the privilege of reading an advance copy of Close and this is a fun read. It grabbed my attention in the first chapter and held my attention until the last page. Erika Raskin is cleaver in the way she weaves humor throughout the book, which gives you just the right moment of relief as the story builds in its intensity and suspense. As a lover of Charlottesville it was fun to see the story pictured in this lovely town and read about familiar roads and hangouts. You are going to love Close.
I read an ARC of "Close" and loved it. I found the Marcheson family, their quirks and relationships with each other believable and entertaining. The shifting point of view - between single-mom Kik and her two older daughters Doone and Casey - gives readers insight into the challenges of both parenthood and adolescence. The honesty of their observations made reminded me of John Green's "A Fault In Our Stars." The plot of "Close" is fast-paced and surprising, making it a very enjoyable page-turner.
I would highly recommend this book to young adult and adult readers.
I won this book in a goodreads giveaway, I'm so glad that I did. It is a book that kept you wanting to read well into the night. I think that anyone with daughters can relate to this book in some shape or form. This book would also be a great read for teenage girls, it would let them have a good look into the havoc that their actions can produce for all members of their families. All in all i would recommend this book highly. I will look forward to more books in the future from this writer.
After reading an advance copy of Close, I would highly recommend it for any reader! The novel tells a poignant and suspenseful story of the divorced-family dynamic through complex characters, real life struggles of parenting and adolescence, and beautifully executed comic relief. In Close, Erika Raskin weaves a tale that will resonate with both parents and children -it is a book not to be missed!
Close is a well-paced yet in depth family study about a quirky divorced family that gets catapulted to reality-TV fame and is left to deal with its fallout. Raskin writes with the compassion of a parent, the keen eye of an anthropologist and the prose of a seasoned novelist. Her characters are well developed and relatable. The story itself has several twists and surprises that'll keep readers guessing and the lights on well past bedtime.
Raskin's book is witty and raw. The characters in the Marcheson family are people we can all relate to. Amidst an unfair share of tragedy they each feel a mishmash of guilt, resentment, anger and fear while still being unconditionally committed to each other. Raskin's ability to describe the lowest moments and only two sentences later have you laughing at a clever quip or revealing metaphor makes this a fast and thought provoking read.
"Close" features a single mother (Kik) and her three daughters. Doone, the wild oldest child, Casey, the perfect middle child, and Tess, the precocious dessert baby. The Marcheson's represent characters that everyone can relate to. As I delved further into the story, I didn't want to put the book down and I didn't want it to end.
I had the opportunity to read an ARC of Close by Erika Raskin in PDF format.
Close is a magnificent story of a single mother's struggle to raise three daughters; the eldest taking the wrong turn. This novel proves that with the help of family, even the hardest of struggles can be overcome as long as you have each other. With many exciting and shocking moments, this novel is a must-read.
Wonderful. Wonderful. Funny, raw, and heartfelt. The characters just jump off the page and remind me of myself, my friends, my life. I loved them, had empathy for them, forgave them, and wondered at Ms. Raskin's ability to paint such complexity. The story grabbed me and made this a quick, heart-racing read. Great for adults and older teens. Certainly would make a great film, too.
I had the chance to read an advanced copy and absolutely loved this book. Erika Raskin paints a beautiful picture filled with genuine and relatable characters, an incredible family dynamic, and a plot twist that makes it impossible to put the book down.
A great read! Fantastic writing that brings you into the Marcheson family, a three-kid, divorced-parent, Charlottesville-living family. The book is a good balance of each family member's own ups and downs, making you appreciate that loving families aren't all cut from the same mold.
I found Close to be a very engaging novel that drew me in immediately. Erika Raskin's gift for snappy, insightful dialog, combined with quirky, endearing characters makes Close a very quick and enjoyable read.
I truly enjoyed this book for it's wry humor and insight into the complexity of the feelings of an adolescent in the throes of rebellion. The author's characters were distinctive and true . Close is a good read, never dull, hard to put down!
A family is fractured and turns to extreme measures to put itself together--at the risk of creating more harm. Nice character development, interesting plot twist, and satisfying ending. Good book overall.