Thicker Than Blood

Thicker Than BlodNew novel from Fomite
October 23, 2015

Andrea Barton is single but wants a child. When an infant is abandoned at a church on the north side of Chicago, Andrea first becomes a foster mother and then adopts her. Andrea believes that love and her experience as a social worker will see her through the challenges of raising an African-American child in a white world. During Pearl’s childhood, Andrea is able to protect her daughter from many of society’s blows. But when teenaged Pearl starts to seek her own identity, their relationship is threatened. Both mother and daughter face situations that force them to confront the possibilities and limits of love.

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"It is rare that a contemporary novel offers the heart-shattering wisdom of Thicker Than Blood. In its portrayals of the always-shifting 'American identity,' it offers readers insight into how we have perceived the 'American dream' during the past three generations. Jan English Leary's novel masterfully unfolds the stories of unforgettable characters at the moments when they are making and losing and returning to and abandoning all their first assumptions of home and of family." — Kevin McIlvoy, author of 57 Octaves Below Middle C, The Complete History of New Mexico, Hyssop, Little Peg, and The Fifth Station
Thicker Than Blood
2015-08-21T21:38:27+00:00
"It is rare that a contemporary novel offers the heart-shattering wisdom of Thicker Than Blood. In its portrayals of the always-shifting 'American identity,' it offers readers insight into how we have perceived the 'American dream' during the past three generations. Jan English Leary's novel masterfully unfolds the stories of unforgettable characters at the moments when they are making and losing and returning to and abandoning all their first assumptions of home and of family." — Kevin McIlvoy, author of 57 Octaves Below Middle C, The Complete History of New Mexico, Hyssop, Little Peg, and The Fifth Station

"In Thicker Than Blood, Jan English Leary tackles big issues: the mother-daughter bond, race, adoption, and immigration, to name a few. Readers with an interest in any of these issues will be absorbed by this well-crafted and insightful novel. But if her canvas is broad, Leary's focus on her two main characters, Andrea and her daughter, Pearl, is tight and discerning. With great empathy and insight, Leary portrays a mother-daughter relationship that is both unconventional and universal. I was left thinking of Pearl and Andrea, and wishing them well, long after I turned the final page.." — Katherine Shonk, author of The Red Passport and Happy Now?


 
Thicker Than Blood
2015-08-21T21:39:08+00:00
"In Thicker Than Blood, Jan English Leary tackles big issues: the mother-daughter bond, race, adoption, and immigration, to name a few. Readers with an interest in any of these issues will be absorbed by this well-crafted and insightful novel. But if her canvas is broad, Leary's focus on her two main characters, Andrea and her daughter, Pearl, is tight and discerning. With great empathy and insight, Leary portrays a mother-daughter relationship that is both unconventional and universal. I was left thinking of Pearl and Andrea, and wishing them well, long after I turned the final page.." — Katherine Shonk, author of The Red Passport and Happy Now?  

"Jan English Leary, a first rate storyteller, examines the intersection between idealism, the harsh reality of post-racist America, the challenges of adoption and the brutality of family life in general. The journey of parenthood is not for the faint-hearted. I read this novel with great admiration for the writer and vicarious pain for her characters." — Goldie Goldbloom, author of The Paperbark Shoe

Thicker Than Blood
2015-08-21T21:39:36+00:00
"Jan English Leary, a first rate storyteller, examines the intersection between idealism, the harsh reality of post-racist America, the challenges of adoption and the brutality of family life in general. The journey of parenthood is not for the faint-hearted. I read this novel with great admiration for the writer and vicarious pain for her characters." — Goldie Goldbloom, author of The Paperbark Shoe

"Jan English Leary’s deeply moving Thicker Than Blood tells the story of a family, a new kind of family, one created when a single, white, working woman adopts a black infant. How individuals seek and avoid love, how they misunderstand and hurt one another are at the heart of all intimate relationships. How this bind is magnified and complicated by the pressure of race is what this fine novel reveals. Written with uncommon grace and profound insight, Thicker Than Blood is a brave and poignant novel." Lynn Sloan, author of Principles of Navigation


 
Thicker Than Blood
2015-08-21T21:40:52+00:00
"Jan English Leary’s deeply moving Thicker Than Blood tells the story of a family, a new kind of family, one created when a single, white, working woman adopts a black infant. How individuals seek and avoid love, how they misunderstand and hurt one another are at the heart of all intimate relationships. How this bind is magnified and complicated by the pressure of race is what this fine novel reveals. Written with uncommon grace and profound insight, Thicker Than Blood is a brave and poignant novel." — Lynn Sloan, author of Principles of Navigation  

"Blind to her adopted daughter’s secret struggles with race, class, and identity, a mother confronts the void that is left when a child disappears. Heart-rending from beginning to end, Thicker Than Blood exposes the nuances of racism that make it hard for a mother and daughter to connect." — Marylee MacDonald, author of Montpelier Tomorrow
Thicker Than Blood
2015-08-22T01:28:17+00:00
"Blind to her adopted daughter’s secret struggles with race, class, and identity, a mother confronts the void that is left when a child disappears. Heart-rending from beginning to end, Thicker Than Blood exposes the nuances of racism that make it hard for a mother and daughter to connect." — Marylee MacDonald, author of Montpelier Tomorrow

"In this elegant first novel, as in the short stories she has published for many years, Jan English Leary proves that she has the eyes, ears, mind, and soul of a dedicated searcher for truths. Her commitment to looking far into each character’s side of the story, refusing to take sides, leads not only to deep insights, but to strong and beautiful sentences, which evoke the music of genuine discovery." — Fred Shafer, editor, writer, lecturer in writing, Northwestern University School of Professional Studies
Thicker Than Blood
2015-08-22T01:29:57+00:00
"In this elegant first novel, as in the short stories she has published for many years, Jan English Leary proves that she has the eyes, ears, mind, and soul of a dedicated searcher for truths. Her commitment to looking far into each character’s side of the story, refusing to take sides, leads not only to deep insights, but to strong and beautiful sentences, which evoke the music of genuine discovery." — Fred Shafer, editor, writer, lecturer in writing, Northwestern University School of Professional Studies

“… a great book club selection, especially with its theme of mixed-race families, sisters, and adoption.” — Beth Fish, Beth Fish Reads
Thicker Than Blood
2015-09-08T15:43:57+00:00
“… a great book club selection, especially with its theme of mixed-race families, sisters, and adoption.” — Beth Fish, Beth Fish Reads

"… its portrait of a mixed-race family illustrates the parallel worlds inhabited by black and white Americans and the damage that needs to be repaired before we can truly call ourselves a post-racial country.” — Kirkus Reviews
Thicker Than Blood
2015-09-08T15:48:07+00:00
"… its portrait of a mixed-race family illustrates the parallel worlds inhabited by black and white Americans and the damage that needs to be repaired before we can truly call ourselves a post-racial country.” — Kirkus Reviews