Welch, Diana. The Kids Are All Right. Crown, 2009. ISBN 978-0307396044 352 pp. $24.99
Not long after their father is killed in a car crash, their beautiful actress mother develops cancer and wastes away. Although she has the foresight to set up a trust and try to place her children with friends, the siblings are separated. The Kids Are All Right follows the coming of age of the four orphans: hippie Amanda, preppie Liz, alienated Dan and lonely Diana.
The story felt unique and fresh, and it was dramatic, but in a straightforward way, not a self-pitying one. The narrative, told chronologically in four alternating voices, hooked me right in, and the question of whether they would really be all right, and how they got there, sustained my interest.
I especially liked the back and forth that happened from chapter to chapter in some spots, as the siblings recalled events differently; I wish there had been more of that, it lent a cohesiveness to the spots where it occurred. I thought the writing was good overall, but not consistently stellar. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more investigation into the father’s death, frustrated that there were not repercussions for Dan and Diana’s mistreatment, and thought the tale ended very abruptly. A companion website includes a book discussion guide, playlist, Flickr photostream, blog, and media clips