My review of Jessica Anya Blau’s hilarious, touching and heartbreaking novel, Drinking Closer to Home, is now live at The Nervous Breakdown. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book. It starts off with a ton of characters, and I kept thinking, oh man, this is going to be too soft, to sweet and nice, I hope it doesn’t turn into (dare I say it) CHICK LIT. Well, it’s far from that. This is a loving portrait of family, with all of its warts and dirty laundry. You know the old cliche, I laughed, I cried? True. The stories are so vivid, so real, that you feel like you are hearing a friend recount her childhood misadventures. And Jessica isn’t afraid to get dirty, cussing up a storm and giving us all of the cum-stained details. But in the end, it’s really the love that shines through, the way that we keep our family close, even when they screw up, and love them in spite of their mistakes. I really loved this book. Head over to TNB for all of the details.