Isabel is the troubled daughter of charismatic but reckless parents who hastily wed, divorced just as fast, and distanced themselves from each other–and their child. Left to her grandparents’ care, Isabel longs for her remote, glamorous mother and for a father who is a fading memory. Unable to control her agony, Isabel rebels in perverse and dangerous ways. A captivating novel that gives new meaning to Freud’s “family romance,” Thicker Than Water vividly illuminates the fragile line between love and the darker sides of passion.
Kathryn Harrison is the author of the memoirs The Kiss and The Mother Knot. She has also written the novels Envy, The Seal Wife, The Binding Chair, Poison, Exposure, and Thicker Than Water; a travel memoir, The Road to Santiago; a biography, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux; and a collection of essays, Seeking Rapture. She lives in New York with her husband, the novelist Colin Harrison, and their children.
“Harrowing . . . it not only succeeds in conveying the horrors that parents may inflict upon their children, but . . . manages to wring from its heroine’s story the hope and possibility of transcendence.” —New York Times Book Review
“A brilliant, overheated first novel simmering with everything one wouldn’t want to know about a family: incest, obsession, revenge.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Fascinating . . . Harrison describes twisted family mechanics with a stylish intensity that gives the grimness meaning.” —Boston Globe
“Remarkable . . . a boldly distinctive voice . . . both lyrical and depth-plumbing, a voice charged with intensity and informed by psychological truths.”—Newsday