Let’s Not Do That Again by Grant Ginder shows a dysfunctional family in a public crisis. While Nancy Harrison’s re-election campaign for Senate is in full swing, her daughter, Greta has decided to wreak havoc halfway across the world with radicalists in a viral moment. Her son, Nick is employed to go to Paris to find and collect his sister before she does any more damage state-side. Through the process of searching for Greta and bringing her home, all members of the family have to confront who they are and what they are willing to do to protect one another.
So happy to be reviewing another of Grant Ginder’s family dramas. This one is back in his forte, siblings. As someone with siblings, I know intimately how fraught these relationships can be but I also find they are the most fulfilling at the same time. Unlike anyone else in your life, your siblings often know your soft underbelly the best and can gut you in ways that you didn’t see coming. They’re also the ones sent after you to pull you out of a foreign country when shit has hit the fan. While I’ve never had to do that myself, I have come close on one occasion so this book did not seem too far-fetched.
The thing that I appreciate about Ginder’s work when it comes to family dynamics is how he lays bare how complicated and frustrating family relationships can be while also highlighting how mundane and from the outside boring the actuality of it is. The high-powered Harrisons seem like a family that has it all together but it’s clear inside Nick’s head is that he doesn’t believe his family’s narrative. Still, it’s hard to pull away and become your own person, which I can also identify within Nick’s arc.
On top of that, Ginder also perfectly highlights the emotional tone and aesthetic of a family like this. Some dysfunctional family dynamics have serious long-reaching consequences but in the moment-to-moment can be incredibly mundane and darkly comical. This is a hard balance to strike and also to describe Ginder’s work, both Let’s Not Do That Again and People We Hate at the Wedding both perfectly strike that. While there are many other reasons to read Ginder’s work, that reason alone is what keeps me coming back for more.
I recommend this book if you want family dramas that aren’t as serious; even when serious things happen.
I received an arc of Let’s Not Do That Again by Grant Ginder from the publisher Henry Holt and Company.
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