Reunion: A Novel (Hardcover)
Kate Pulaski is on a plane when she finds out her father is dead. How she handles this news and the subsequent meetings with family are the substance of Reunion.
Kate’s father, Stan, couldn’t have decided to kill himself at a worse time. Kate is in the middle of marriage that is hitting the skids and she’s so far in debt there’s almost no chance she’ll get out. Her husband, Peter has tried to get her on track. She hasn’t seen Elliot, her brother or Nell, her sister, in a while, though they do keep up with each other by phone/text. This is the extent of her involvement with family.
Stan married several times, fathered children and divorced. His ex-wives converge on the funeral and add to the already huge mess that was hidden and then uncovered during the course of the days leading up to and the funeral itself.
We meet Elliot and Nell, each with their own set of issues with themselves, their lives and each other. Not uncommon in families, siblings play the “Mom and Dad liked you best” scenario and what usually results is dredging up of old wounds and scars that never fade into adulthood. Here Kate finds that what she thought true about her father and siblings (both the “old” siblings and Stan’s latest child) is that what we think we know is often in error. And Kate also realizes that though she thinks she and her father are nothing alike, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
One of the parts of Reunion I like is that the ending is not what I expect to happen, but it is what I’d like to happen. In Reunion, Pittard has done a good job of presenting families and extended families in an honest light and shows doubters that in the end, you can really only count on your family. -- Wendy, Redbery Books, Cable, Wisconsin— From Wendy's Easy Chair 3
Five minutes before her flight is set to take off, Kate Pulaski, failed screenwriter and newly failed wife with scarcely a hundred dollars to her name, learns that her estranged father has killed himself. More shocked than saddened by the news, she gives in to her siblings' request that she join them, along with her many half-siblings and most of her father's five former wives, in Atlanta, their birthplace, for a final farewell.
Written with huge heart and bracing wit, Reunion takes place over the following four days, as family secrets are revealed, personal foibles are exposed, and Kate -- an inveterate liar looking for a way to come clean-slowly begins to acknowledge the overwhelming similarities between herself and the man she never thought she'd claim as an influence, much less a father. Hannah Pittard's "engaging and vigorous" prose masterfully illuminates the problems that can divide modern families--and the ties that prove impossible to break. (Chicago Tribune)
About the Author
"Hannah Pittard is the writer you won't be able to stop talking about...Her writing will make you laugh and cry in public...Her books are the sort that leave you reading the blurbs, scanning the small print, and prolonging the reading experience. . . She's the kind of writer who gets in your head and makes you evangelize to all of your friends-wide eyes, quick gasp: 'Do you know about Hannah Pittard?' If she's not on your radar yet, she should be. . . . The sibling bond-that complicated and often inexplicable love [is] expertly encapsulated in Reunion."—Buzzfeed
"Pittard is working with a fertile premise here--a family's discovery of one another's secrets following the death of its patriarch--that bears some unexpected and affecting fruit. The framework feels reminiscent of Jonathan Tropper's This Is Where I Leave You, but the messy blending of Pittard's Pulaski clan gives a familiar construction some very particular complications."—Shelf Awareness (starred review)
"[Reunion] takes a warm and witty look at an unusual dysfunctional family and extols the lasting bonds between siblings. Truly engaging."—Booklist
"Reunion is uproarious, tender, and riveting, a book about the possibility of family and the value of hope. By the time I finished it I felt like a part of the Pulaski family; I didn't want it to end. Beautifully and hilariously told, it made me fall in love with Hannah Pittard's writing."—Anton DiSclafani, author of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls
Praise for The Fates Will Find Their Way
"A stunning novel about making up stories as we go along...[a] mesmerizing debut...with every carefully chosen word-and in this short, intense novel, each one counts-Pittard brilliantly draws us into the maturing consciousness of a group of neighborhood boys."—O, the Oprah Magazine
"A dreamlike cross between The Virgin Suicides and The Lovely Bones."—Time magazine
"Engaging and vigorously told...I heard all sorts of echoes from other books, from Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones and some of Joyce Carol Oates' stories and novels...Pittard's excellent first novel satisfies this demand in spades."—Chicago Tribune