The World Without You
While not a classic literary family, I was impressed by the dynamics of the Frankel family depicted in Joshua Henkin’s The World Without You. Leo Frankel, a news journalist, died at the hands of rebels in Iraq. A year later, his geographically and emotionally scattered family comes together to honor him in a memorial service. The youngest of four children, Leo’s three sisters, two brothers-in-law and a significant other, several nephews, Leo’s widowed wife and three-year-old son join their parents at their summer home in the Berkshires over a long July Fourth weekend. Each character struggles and deals with Leo’s death in his or her own way. Memories are shared, old wounds are opened. But the underlying love that binds a family together acts as a healing balm.