Cover Image: The Misfortunes of Family

The Misfortunes of Family

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Member Reviews

I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

This is the second book I have ready by Reilly, and I have to say I have enjoyed them both. This book pulled me in right from the start. The characters were interesting and very relatable. The story flowed well and kept me interested. There were a couple of parts where it was a bit predictable, but not enough to take away from enjoying the story. It really gave a good look at both sides of politics and the family involved. It is a 3.5 from me.
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It's the story of a family with four very lovely sons.....who have to this point fed into the narcissism and vanity of their Senator father.  The sons, along with families and significant others, convene at the lakehouse compound for their annual summer vacation.  The unfolding drama is told by the "extras" i.e., the spouses and girlfriend, plus one, a documentary film maker who has been sent to gather footage - any footage - of the family and their dynamics.  The hope is that something spectacular will be revealed, spectacular in the sense of bringing to light that the picture perfect political family is anything but perfect.  Deep, dark secrets are revealed, and the true character of each member of the family becomes clear.   The central theme of the story is the vanity of politicians and blends into the age old fact that mothers will do anything to protect their children.  

Reilly's storytelling tends toward wordy prose, but in a good way.  She expertly examines each character's motivations, from the eyes of those closest to them and how the slightly self-absorbed actions of the sons have affected their own lives and the lives of those they love.  Each character is imperfect in his or her own way, yet the reader still wants to love each of them and wants the happy ending for each of them.  (Spoiler:  some get the happy ending, and some....not quite yet, but maybe!). Reilly also lightly examines the mistakes on the part of parents that shape the future of their children.   

This is a family story that will grab you and not let go until the final pages.  It is like meeting a family who seems perfect on the outside, but has a lot going on behind closed doors.  Plan to spend some time with this book, even though it is not very long.  There is an identifiable character for every reader.
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This was a very engaging novel about a very dysfunctional political family (they go hand in hand I feel). Well written with great characters. Highly recommend if you enjoy stories of families.
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Life in the political limelight is full of surprises, the Bright family is well aware of how it works. As John Bright Sr readies for retirement there is a documentary planned to show his transition and the life he has led. Told from the view of the “extras” you learn how family dynamics can lift you up and bring you down.  Well written and full of emotion this book will keep you captivated through it all. 

Thank you NetGalley, Meg Little Reilly and Harlequin Enterprises Limited  for this edition and hearing my honest review. Looking forward to reading more with you
#partner
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Meg Little Reilly offers readers a glimpse into a family of wealth, privilege and politics.  Dysfunction is certainly the norm, however the need for protecting image and projecting cohesiveness prevails.  The story is related by the outliers;  3 spouses and a documentary filmmaker. Yes, added to the stress of a three week family gathering is the presence of the documentary crew.  What are the family secrets?  Will they be uncovered?  Meg Little Reilly uses her talent for creating three dimensional, complex characters to draw the reader into the drama.  I thoroughly enjoyed The Misfortunes of Family. 
I received my copy through NetGalley under no obligation.
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"Nobody knows what they're going to want in the future.  It's impossible to know, so you make choices based on the things you want now. You plan your life on the assumption that future you will be exactly like current you.  But nobody is the person they start out as."  Meg Little Reilly, The Misfortunes of Family

From my unread Kindle shelf I began to read this book as I sat in the airport this week.  I gravitate toward family drama, stories told by the water and unlikely relationships.  This one gave me all three.  It unfolded slowly and gently as the we learned the stories of each of the family members.  How they interwove and where they are headed now.  It was a story of love, mistakes, loyalty and family all surrounding a political patriarch.  I grew to love the ancillary characters that provided so much of the color and warmth to the story.  Isn't it funny how it's not the popular people who are the heartbeat of the room.  It's the ones that stand out, stand for something other than fitting in.  This story left me smiling, with a feeling of resolution.  It also reminded me that marriage and family don't need to look glamorous.  It's how they fill you up inside that counts.
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Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to preview this ARC of The Misfortunes of Family by Meg Little Reilly.

The aptly named Bright family is coming together for three long weeks in their summer home.  They are a WASPish, well-to-do family who have had their hands in politics and the public eye most of their lives.  While they often come together like this, they've never done it with a video document-er among them, someone that they hired to capture the nuanced and more intimate moments of their lives.  What could possibly go wrong?

I really love to be the fly on the wall into any family, especially when the children are grown, family dynamics are fascinating.  And while there was a lot about the Brights I enjoyed, they are also kind of terrible, just like most families are.  This was personable, entertaining, kind of campy and fun.  I very much enjoyed it.
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The Misfortunes of Family starts out a bit slowly as the reporter and  each family member is introduced. I wasn't sure I would get into it, but I continued reading and was pleasantly surprised by all the turns in events, the struggles and the worries of each family member and the secrets that were being kept.  It was worth my time!

I received a free advanced reader's copy from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
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As I began reading this story of a big political family, my immediate reaction was “Oh no, the glamorous lives of The Chosen, a la the Kennedys, the Bushes and the Romneys.”  I was prepared to hate them all. By the end of the story my feeling were much more mixed, and I give the author credit for leading me to that conclusion. 
We meet the family of retired senator John Bright who are gathering for a summer vacation at the Bright family compound. We also meet the spouses of the Bright sons and through their eyes we soon realize that everyone is an outsider to this tight knit family. Several incidents occur to disrupt the perfection of this image. A possible terrorist attack in Spain where the twin grandsons were headed to a soccer tournament sends the former senator  back into fighting form. From there it is a quick jump for him to exploit the situation and announce his return to politics, this time with a run for the governship of Massachusetts. .
Meanwhile we are given complete access to the family secrets through the somewhat contrived device of a videographer in place working on a documentary on the former senator and his family. Although the camera is supposed to represent an objective look, it is not long before camera person Farah gets drawn into the family relationships and secrets. Her own motivations can not be ignored as she struggles to separate  her personal and professional needs. 
I would really like to discuss the ending of this book because that is where all  the strands of family, integrity  and morality come together, but to do so would inevitably include spoilers.. I will just end by saying author Reilly has written a nuanced story with compassion and intelligence. My own reading finds issue with the conclusion, but that is what makes the story interesting.
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A Kennedy-esque family comes together for a reunion. The Brights are all very talented and the father, a senator, is wanting to run again. Kind of hard to keep it up.
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4-5 stars!  This is not my normal type of book, as anything that even remotely mentions politics I am far away from, but this one was actually intense, well written, and eye opening!  I thought the author did an amazing job of creating this family, showing you their lives that are not even remotely shown to the public.  I thought it was engrossing, original, and even quite suspenseful at times.  I thought the another did an amazing job on character development and a well developed story which made the book a quick easy read, which I think most would enjoy if looking for something you can easily get swept up in.  I recommend to those who enjoy seeing something of an inside story to a family in a powerful position and how it truly affects the members inside!  Interesting for sure!  
Will make sure to buzz it up on all the different platforms!
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A peek into the family life of those who are under the public scrutiny.  The Brights look like a perfect family from the outside; with four strapping young boys who grow into successful men.  But when the recently retired senator   patriarch decides to throw his hat in the ring in a gubernatorial race, hidden family secrets are unveiled.
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Fun beach read that, in my opinion, tried too hard to be more. Also, the big hidden family scandal was so yawn worthy it’s not even worth reviewing. Overall, quick and forgettable but not badly written.
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Family drama encompassing a political extended family. Ethics are blurry for some characters, sharp for others. The interplay between the various characters, blood relatives or extras, made for an interesting book.
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Okay, this book is so good, they have to be making it into a Netflix series!  A political family on vacation agrees to allow a production crew to film their summer in hopes of setting the next generation on the path to further success.  But the patriarch has announcements to make that will leave no one happy.  His four sons must adjust their goals as they figure out how their father's plans affect each of them.  While the men of the family absorb the news and prepare for change, the women make their own decisions; and everyone knows it's the women who keep lives running smoothly.  The family dynamic in this book is central yet complex enough to leave cracks that let readers see that not everything is as it seems.  And it's all on camera!  Meg Little Reilly, I'm not sure why I had never read any of your books before...but that's about to change!
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Is this doesn't grab you .... This book is a review for an arc I received on #Netgalley #netgalleyreview #themisfortunesodfamily #meglittlereiley a man who is a retiring politician, his wife, their sons, and the extras. Their parents sign up for a documentary where the family is to be watched/recorded during the summer. Where that journey will take you is one that will keep you up at night turning the pages. It's an amazing story of family, marriage, and the secrets we keep. #mystery #family #marriage #Brightfamily #bookreader #booksofinstagram #books📚 this book is a definite read and will be a great addition to your #beachreads
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Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this ARC!

In Meg Little Reilly's The Misfortunes of Family, readers are introduced to the Brights - a political family with a touch of Kennedy magic whose menfolk are buffeted by scandal, unfulfilled political ambition, and who try to make use of incidents of terrorism to find their way back to the light that should rightly flock to their name. Reilly plays an interesting game of bait and switch with the reader, however. On the surface, the book seems to be about the bright men - the powerful ex-Senator looming over all - but its actually a book about women and the choices women make when it comes to family. The most interesting scenes in the book focus on Farah, a documentarian trailing the Senator in hopes of reviving her career, and her attempt to riddle out the truth of the Bright brother who is least like the rest of his famous family. Another key player is the "extra" (what she calls spouses who are not Brights) Mary Beth who is raising the next generation of Bright men and trying to mold them into good men even as they mold versions of themselves on social media. There's also Chelsea, a Bright girlfriend who has to decide if the sacrifices the Brights demand she make in order to be part of their world are worthwhile. The character who plays the biggest role of all is also a woman, but Reilly hides her in plain sight and I don't want to ruin the twist for you. Suffice it to say that readers interested in how we construct ourselves in a world with social media and the 24 hour news cycle will be caught up in the political drama of the Brights - but so will readers who grapple with what it means to be part of a family.
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This book was great. I loved the family dynamics and how the story was told from the point of view of the “extras.” It’s also a reminder that a life in a political family would be DREADFUL. This was a book about a lot of people who aren’t so very nice but you find yourself rooting for them anyway.
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Family secrets and drama!  What sets this apart from much of the genre is that it's about the four sons (vice daughters or a mix). of retired Senator John Bright and it's told from the POV of their extras (how insulting is that to their partners!). Three weeks in the Berkshires would be tense under the best of circumstances for this crew but add in the fact that a documentary filmmaker is there filming and well, it gets dark in spots (don't worry, not that dark).  JJ, Spenser, and Charlie all have their issues but Phillip has a whopper that will throw things off balance.  John is so self absorbed that he doesn't see that another run for office is not in his or anyone else's best interest. Several of these people are not particularly likable but you might recognize them from your own life.  How did Patty deal with all of this for all those years?  Denial?  Thanks to the publisher for the ARC.  A story of a family that has to face facts.
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Many thanks to NetGalley, Mira Books, and Meg Little Reilly for the opportunity to read and review her latest book.  I have enjoyed this author's other books and really enjoyed delving into her latest.

The Brights are a political family - John Sr is a recently retired US Senator.  He and his wife, Patty, have 4 boys, each struggling in their own way to live up to the family name.  Summer means spending time in the Berkshires with the family and the extras (I love that way of describing the sons' significant others).  This year, John Sr has allowed Farah, a documentary filmmaker, to spend the month with them filming their daily lives.  When a devastating family secret comes out right as the Senator announces his candidacy for governor, the family has to look a bit deeper into what being a Bright means.

While the Bright family occupies that elite, moneyed, power spot that our regular families can't relate to, there is still much to relate to in this book - after all, families are families, with all the good, bad and in between.  This book is written mostly from the viewpoint of the extras, Farah included, to allow us a bit more of an outsider's look into the family dynamics.  A great read!
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