Freehand Books, 2018
Agent: Jill Marr
A hilarious portrait of a modern, mostly happy family, in all its glorious messiness.
Meet the Figgs. June, the family’s matriarch, looks forward to a quiet retirement — if only she can get her three adult children to finally, finally, move out of the house. But her dreams are shattered when her son Derek unexpectedly becomes a single father. Now there’s a newborn baby at home, and Derek’s siblings are showing no sign of going anywhere either. In the midst of the chaos, June’s husband, Randy, has a shocking revelation.
With family life flying fast and furious around her, June finds herself thinking about her parents — adoptive and biological. Where did she come from? Will her new grandson be traumatized without his mother? And why in the world are all the kids still at home, anyway?
The Figgs combines the quirkiness of Miriam Toews, the startling humour and fierce energy of Heather O’Neill, the heart of Little Miss Sunshine, and the unruly family dynamics of Jonathan Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You into one hilarious, immensely fun novel.
“Full confession: I want to be one of the Figgs. Ali Bryan’s eponymous family is chaotic, messy, imperfect, and a little out of control — but they’re also big-hearted and quirky, hilarious and real. With a deft hand, Bryan manages to wrangle her characters into a story that is fast-paced and wry, full of unexpected twists, surprising insights, and crackling dialogue.The story might be unpredictable, but Bryan’s ability as a storyteller is not — you can count on the Figgs (the family) to be there for one another, and you can count on The Figgs (the novel) to delight you.”
—Amy Jones, author of We’re All in This Together
“In The Figgs, Ali Bryan takes us to bedlam and back in a story that grips you from the start and never lets go. With equal parts humour and heart, a masterful storyteller explores the meaning of love and family in complicated and challenging times. Extraordinary.”
—Terry Fallis, two-time winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour
“Modern mayhem at its finest, The Figgs dives into the comical and profound challenges of family life. Tackling enablement, empowerment, and the sticky bonds of love, this is a soaring read with both sarcasm and soul.”
—Cassie Stocks, winner of the Leacock Medal for Dance, Gladys, Dance
“There’s something wonderfully raw and new here. Ali Bryan gets it… family, friends, relationships, and the ups and downs that make us human. She filters it through a lens that’s a rare treat for a reader to look through.”
—Bradley Somer, author of Fishbowl