I'm not sure if Roxana Robinson would agree with my characterization of her novel Cost as a "family novel". I'm not sure what else to call it, though.
Julia Lambert is a middle-aged college art instructor who is coping with a plate full of family-related issues. Her eightysomething parents are deteriorating both physically and mentally. Her ex-husband, who was unfaithful, is remarried and moving on without her.
But the ex-husband comes back into her life because of another, even more serious problem: the couple's college-aged son, Jack, is addicted to heroin.
Oh, and Julia is hiding an important secret, one that could impact all their lives. But I'll let you read about that for yourself.
Cost is not a novel with car chases and shootouts. But Robinson, like Stuart O'Nan and a few others, has a knack for making the mundane interesting.
I've also read her novel Sparta. This novel is about the struggles of a young veteran who has just returned from Operation Iraqi Freedom, and is trying to reintegrate into civilian life. I would recommend that one as well. But that's another post for another time.