Review: Family – The Ties that Bind…And Gag! ~ Erma Bombeck

Family Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession Bombeck here takes a look at the family grown and comes up with characteristically incisive, irreverent and pertinent wisdom. Her three children, now adults, and herself at the age where “you look wonderful,” she provokes thought about the shifting family. Intergenerational relationships; Bombeck’s with her parents; hers with her children and the amorphous family constellations of the ’80s are explored by a master of the art of domesticity. Adult children who return to the empty nest, technology that needs to be mastered in kitchen and family room are grist for Bombeck’s ever-ready mill.

A cherished family reunion sets the stage for Erma Bombeck’s predictably hilarious recollections of raising a family – that is, strangers who know each other intimately, but who have nothing in common (and want to keep it that way!). Erma’s conclusion: families-you can’t live with them, you can’t live without them… or can you?

4 Thumbs-Up

This is the first book that I’ve read by this Author, and it had me chuckling happily from start to finish.  What needs to be remembered though, by any reader picking it up, is that it is a 1980’s book filled with 1980’s humour and references.

As it is a hilariously funny snapshot into the Authors Family life during this time period, there are no characters that have to be developed, as each member of the clan brings their own baggage with them which is tipped out in front of the washing machine for the reader to pick through, or not as they see fit.   It is a book to appeal to everyone, regardless of the type of Family they were raised; anyone that reads this will be able to relate to and recognize at least one member of the Authors’ Family that resides in their own.  The book also has appeal across the genders; women will recognize their part in the whole play unfolding before them and men will be able to know profess to understanding the reasoning behind why their womenfolk do the things they do.

It doesn’t matter that, at times the stories being told in this book appear to go off at a tangent and never return, it just adds to the humour and reality of what is being written about; after all how much of our own families lives follow a logic and direct route to any point in time, I know our family doesn’t.  Through the laid back writing style of this Author, the reader is shown that’s is OK to have a dysfunctional family and that it’s also OK to be able to laugh when things go wrong; even in the most mundane of situations humour is always there to be found.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys laughter in their lives, and doesn’t mind laughing out loud in public.