Within Arm's Reach by Ann Napolitano
'No one in my mother's family ever talks about anything that can be categorized as unpleasant or as having to do with emotions, and, as a result, they no longer have anything to say. For them it's not a matter of keeping secrets; it's a matter of being polite, mannerly, and tough. The McLaughlins couldn't spill their woes or ask for help even if they wanted to, because they don't have the vocabulary. They are stranded within themselves, convinced that the only way is to silently persevere.' Seen from the point of view of different generations of women within this family and set around a small town in New Jersey, this is a novel about a family of Irish Catholic descent, the McLaughlins. This is a rich and resonant novel about how the totally unexpected pregnancy of the youngest (29) unmarried member the family tears apart its facade of normalcy, and throws the entire family into a state of crisis.