The Kids Are All Right

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I picked up this month’s book for the From Left to Write book club, The Kids are All Right. I got through it in one weekend, partly because it was such an easy read. Told from the viewpoint of four siblings they recount the difficult childhood they managed to survive after losing both parents one right after the other.

I can’t say that I can relate to losing my parents when I was a kid. Because I didn’t. I grew up with both parents in a pretty normal suburban upbringing. But surprisingly I did find some things in this book that I could relate to.

My parents divorced about a year after I was married. My brother, sister and I were already on our own and living our own lives. We were grown ups. But with the loss of our parent’s marriage there was also a loss of our home base. Just like the Welch siblings in the book.

That seemed to be the most poignant theme of the whole book, was the importance of  a home base, even for adults. A place where the family gathers on holidays. The place that somehow manages to remain the same even as life constantly changes all around.

I’ve tried very hard to make my home that base over the last decade and I think I’ve done an OK job of that. And somehow I kept thinking about that while reading this book. That and something my dad always used to tell us. He used to say that someday our siblings will be all we’ve got left to tie us to our past. And it’s so true.

The most surprising thing I got from the book came after I finished reading it. I jumped in the shower and suddenly, without even thinking about it, I began to cry.

You see my brother lives quite a few hours away and it’s not very often I get to see him and my little sister moved to Missouri a few weeks back. And though life often keeps me moving, the Kids are All Right made me stop and remember how much I love my brother and sister. And how much I miss them.

And that’s the best thing you can get from a book.

A “From Left to Write” Book Club post. In conjunction with the book club, I received a free copy of this book, but was not obligated to write about it.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

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  2. Trackback: The Kids Are All Right by Diana and Liz Welch, with Amanda and Dan Welch – A From Left to Write Book Club |
  3. diana
    Oct 12, 2010 @ 09:08:58

    Meghan, that picture of you and your sibs is too cute!! I love it.

    And you are so right: The meaning of “home” is something that my sister Liz and I really thought about a lot while writing The Kids are All Right. In fact, we almost called the book Take the Long Way Home, after the Supertramp song, because home is what we lost, and home is what we eventually found.

    To me, home is where people love me, no matter what. It is where I feel understood, listened to, and respected. Of course, being the littlest sibling, there were times where I felt misunderstood, ignored, and disrespected but deep-down, I knew that my siblings loved me for who I was – nothing more, and nothing less.

    Thank you so much for writing, and reading!

    xDiana Welch


  4. kroliklinsey
    Oct 12, 2010 @ 12:59:04

    Great post, Meghan. My twin sister lives MUCH too far away from me – in Newfoundland, Canada – so I am hyper aware of how much I miss her every day. My two other sisters live “closer” but still not in my town. Still, we are close. Family = the ties that bind us.

    I agree that being moved by a book is the GREATEST! This was a good, good read – so much to think about.


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