#SRC2017 – American Family: A Novel – Catherine Marshall-Smith
American Family: A Novel
Richard and Michael, both three years sober, have just decided to celebrate their love by moving in together when Richard―driven by the desire to do the right thing for his ten-year-old-daughter, Brady, whom he has never met―impulsively calls his former father-in-law to connect with her. With that phone call, he jeopardizes the one good thing he has―his relationship with Michael―and also threatens the world of the fundamentalist Christian grandparents who love Brady and see her as payback from God for the alcohol-related death of her mother. Unable to reach an agreement, the two parties hire lawyers who have agendas far beyond the interests of the families―and Brady is initially trusted into Richard and Michael’s care. But when the judge learns that the young girl was present when a questionable act took place while in their custody, she returns Brady to her grandparents. Ultimately, it’s not until further tragedy strikes that both families are finally motivated to actually act in the “best interests of the child.”
Top Secret – Your Mission This Week
Every week, there will be a new challenge for you to complete. Follow the steps below to be entered into our weekly secret giveaway!
- Post a picture inspired by this week’s prompt. This week our prompt is: “Share your favorite beach memory.”
- Tag @BookSparks and include #SRC2017
*Bonus points for including your copy of the book in your picture!
About The Author
Catherine lives and teaches English and Social Studies to middle school students in the heart of the Silicon Valley, Santa Clara. She tells her students daily that writing will make them immortal, pointing out that ancient civilizations that had a written language are still studied two thousand years later while cultures without a writing system disappeared with the wind.
American Family came to her with characters, Richard and Michael first and the plot followed. Around the same time, she joined the summer institute of the Writing Project at San Jose State University in 2006. In the afternoons, everyone was required to write; most wrote about education. Catherine wrote this novel.
It took ten years to write. She observed in Family Court, interviewed lawyers and a judge, and read the Supreme Court ruling on grandparents’ rights with a lawyer.
She is married and has three adult children, two grand dogs and one dachshund who has nothing wrong with his nose. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1977, and a certificate in Creative Writing from UCLA. She was short listed for the James Kirkwood Award in 2012.