Family: The Ties That Bind . . . and Gag! Summary

Erma Bombeck

Family

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Faithful followers of the adventures of America’s most typical and well-chronicled family will find much with which to identify and in which to delight in Erma Bombeck’s latest book. Based on her columns but reorganized with much new material added, the book depicts a “typical” family reunion -- grandparents, parents, and grown children gather at Bombeck’s house for the weekend. Their experiences, and Bombeck’s reflections upon them, are sometimes hilarious, sometimes moving, but always entertaining.

Those who grew up with Bombeck, or with her children, for that matter, may well wonder how they are faring as a family of the 1980’s. Bombeck brings the reader up to date on her three grown children--why do they not marry and have children? When will this one get a job? Will it work out if that one moves home? Bombeck uses her wit to face the problems the 1980’s generation is bringing to many parents of the 1950’s. At the same time, she recalls the tender, funny memories that make her family what it is and remind everyone what being a family means.

Bombeck’s humor is occasionally wearying in large doses, but one should read the book only a few chapters at a time--just as it begins to pall, one funny line or touching story will bring a pleasurable shock of recognition. An essential purchase for all Erma Bombeck fans, this book will provide hours of enjoyment to parents and children young and old.