Everybody's Son by Thrity Umrigar

Everybody's Son

The bestselling, critically acclaimed author of The Space Between Us and The World We Found deftly explores issues of race, class, privilege, and power and asks us to consider uncomfortable moral questions in this probing, ambitious, emotionally wrenching novel of two families—one black, one white.During a terrible heat wave in 1991—the worst in a decade—ten-year-old Anton has been locked in an apartment in the projects, alone, for seven da...

Details Everybody's Son

TitleEverybody's Son
Release DateJun 6th, 2017
GenreFiction, Adult Fiction, Family, Parenting, Adoption

Reviews Everybody's Son

  • Will Byrnes
    David Coleman has a heavy weight to bear. His son, James, was killed in an auto accident on prom night. James was destined to carry on the family name and business. David is a judge, and his father, here referred to as Pappy, was a long-time US Senator. After maybe too short a time, David seeks to fill the large gap James left by taking in a foster child. Nine-year-old Anton Vesper is having problems of his own. He’d been left alone before in t...
  • Diane S ☔
    3.5 Anton, a young black boy, was only ten when his life was irrevocably changed. Left alone in a sweltering apartment with little food, by his crack addicted mother, he manages to break a window and climb out. He will be taken by social services and will find himself as a foster child, living with a prominent white family, father a judge, a family who is still recovering from the grief of losing their only child. Many interesting moral questions...
  • Liz
    I do believe Thrity Umrigar has a lot of important things to say and she put down a story with great potential, one that forces you to examine your beliefs on issues such as race, class, child welfare, and the justice system as it relates those issues. I was really looking forward to reading Everybody’s Son, but in the end I confess disappointment. It’s my opinion that the writing failed to support a story of this gravity, something I just co...
  • Aditi
    “I feel bare. I didn't realize I wore my secrets as armor until they were gone and now everyone sees me as I really am.” ----Veronica RothThrity Umrigar, the bestselling, critically acclaimed author, has penned a terrific and extremely heart breaking literary fiction in her new book called, Everybody's Son: A Novel that centers around a biracial, abandoned kid, who is adopted by a rich and powerful white family while his crackpot mother rott...
  • Rachel
    I wanted to love this book because I love the premise so much, but I could not get past the unbelievable characters and the terrible dialogue. For example, the 9 year old boy from the inner city on his way to his new foster home says, "Cool. I never seen that. I love kitties." And the foster father calls the boy "Sport" and "Fella." The foster father also says things like, "That's what the combo of a druggie mother and a crappy school system buys...
  • Faith
    I really liked the first third of the book when Anton was a child. When he was 9 the biracial boy was placed in a foster home with a wealthy white couple who had lost their only son. I felt sorry for everyone here as heartbreaking decisions were made, some of which were ethically questionable. Unfortunately, I wasn't that crazy about the rest of the book. It had too much politics for me and Anton's progression from Harvard to attorney general was...
  • Michelle
    “There were no adults . . . There were just tall children stumbling around the world, walking pools of unfinished hopes, unmet needs, and seething desires. The unsuccessful ones ended up in asylums. The ones who learned to masquerade those needs became politicians.” My first encounter with Thrity Umrigar was a library sponsored “Date with a Book”. Held around Valentine’s day, patrons were encouraged to fall in love with a new author by ...
  • Monica
    Letting this one marinate...First thoughts: something not quite right in the writing/charactersBig and interesting ethical quandaries but laid out in a way that bypasses the complexitiesNarrator may have inhabited a point of view not intended by the authorInteresting plot not quite executed wellPolitics within the book were too simplistic and clear cutCharacters were larger than life (meaning they achieved things in ways that seem unrealistic)Ove...
  • Ace
    A young boy is trapped inside the apartment for 7 days during a heatwave. His mum, a junkie, is going to go to prison for neglect. Foster parents David and FM (Foster Mum) are there to save little Anton. For a little while towards the end it started to feel a bit like a TV drama and I thought I might be very disappointed in the way that the book finished. Instead, what I feel is that for this little kid, everything is going to be ok. Who will wri...
  • Stephanie Anze
    "....that justice always had to be tempered with mercy."Juanita Vesper locks the door to her home with the intention of coming back. An addict, Juanita just needs one hit and she'll be right back to be with her son Anton. But Juanita does not come back. She is gone for a whole week during one of the worst heat waves the country has experienced. Meanwhile Anton has no food or electricity. Anton breaks a window to escape the suffocating heat and is...
  • Colleen
    SO Good!!! The sould searching unbelieveable. Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. This is so gooood (Anton (lemonade)), David giggles. What Why you laughing?I don't know. Who should I ask? Anton said.Hey. That's Dee's line. Come up with your own.He had been in the legal profession long enough to know that human behavior was complicated and unpredictable and that justice always had to be tempered with mercy.Tragedy wa...
  • Trevor
    3.5 stars for my first Thrity Umrigar novel, & it certainly won't be my last. With a prose concise & clear, EVERYBODY'S SON flowed easily & made for a breezy read. (Difficult subject matter but the structure of the text made it easier to absorb & digest.) Umrigar composes multi-layered MCs who raise some hard questions about nature vs. nurture & just how far you'll go to excuse crooked behavior- how the ends justify the means.EVERYBODY'S SON take...
  • Kkraemer
    A mixed-race child is born into a desperate situation fraught with dangers from poverty and despair. He is "rescued" when he is sent to foster care. He is assigned to a family, a very rich and powerful white family, who fall in love with him and have the means to help him reach the highest possible academic and professional positions. He, meanwhile, is waiting for his mother.When his mother is to be released from prison, she becomes convinced tha...
  • Antoinette
    This book captured my interest right away-I could not pull myself away from Everybody's Son.Anton is a 9 yr old biracial boy, who is left alone in a locked apartment by his drug addicted mother for 7 days in sweltering heat. He breaks out and is rescued but ends up in foster care where he is taken in by David Coleman, a prominent judge, who is white. There is "a dearth of black foster parents"It is hard not to like Anton, a young boy, that thanks...
  • jo
    the central premise, the burning moral conundrum of this novel, is: how do you save a black child from living with a black mother in a black community, a fate that will certainly lead him to a blighted life and quite possibly early death? yeah, no. no. definitely not. totally fucking racist. no way.
  • Anna
    Anton, a 9 year old mulatto boy, is accustomed to being left alone by his crack addicted mother. He isn't worried for the first day or two, but when a week passes and there is no food and the apartment has reached a sizzling 95 degrees he breaks a window and escapes. Found walking down the street bleeding by a police officer, Anton is placed in the hands of Children's Services. Anton is taken in by David and his wife Delores. David is a judge and...
  • Lisa Ordeman
    I wanted to like this book, but I did not. I guess the biggest problems I have with it is that it is poorly written, and I did not find the characters to be believable at all. I gave the book the benefit of the doubt and finished it because I kind of wanted to see what would happen, and it was an easy, fast read. It seemed like a combination of Jodi Picoult and John Grisham, blah! Don't recommend it.Worst line ever, "And then the blackness was ov...
  • Sarah Weathersby
    I had some issues with this book. The first half we know about Anton from the blurb on the jacket. Nine-year-old Anton was left locked in his apartment for seven days without air conditioning and food, while his mother went to a crack house. Anton finally breaks the window and escapes with a gash on his leg from the chard of glass.So the first half of the book is a page-turner. Anton's mother, Juanita, is arrested and Anton is placed with child s...
  • Kinksrock
    This novel tells the story of a black child who is trapped in an apartment for a week while his drug-addicted mother is missing, breaks out, and is put in the foster care system, where he is cared for by a couple who recently lost their son in a car accident. The foster father, an influential judge, loves the boy and convinces himself that the boy would be better off raised by them than going back to his mother, and, perhaps unintentionally, uses...
  • Adrienne
    I waited for this book to come out for over a year. And then I devoured it in two days.That is the story of my life, I am afraid. Although this story had a dubious start--I was afraid it would turn out to be the exact same plot as "Under the Weight of Heaven," and it's true there are definitely strong similarities--the ending was altogether different and wonderful.Thrity Umrigar is one of those rare novelists whose understated but profound way of...
  • Lisa
    Everybody's Son kept me turning the pages, wanting to find out what happens to Anton, a neglected bi-racial child who is taken in and then adopted by a wealthy white couple. Umrigar writes about important themes, but the story felt simplified and the writing strained.
  • Amy
    I wanted more from this book - to be able to put myself in different shoes and empathize with the characters. But the writing was so clinical and pacing was so fragmented that it fell a little flat for me. The author is great at putting words together and the plot was intriguing enough to keep me reading to the last page. As someone that values characterization highest in a reading experience, though, this was not exactly my cup of tea.
  • Caele
    This book fell flat on its face. I wanted to like it, but it had so many problems. For one thing, the writing was reaching too hard all the way through the book. And the characters are not only annoying, they're unbelievable, doing and saying and thinking things that would be out of character for them. I hate that I wasted my time on this book, and I would not recommend this to anyone.
  • Kathe Coleman
    Everybody's Son by Thrity UmagarI have never been disappointed in any of Umagar's book so it is great pleasure that her newest book is a winner in my book. It is primarily about race in America. I really don't want to say too much because I think it is an emotional read and there will be many reactions to the questions poised in the narrative. 5 stars. Highly recommend.
  • Divya Palevski
    The premise of the story "Everybody's son " is intriguing. However, Ms. Umrigar's "Everybody's son" somewhat seemed, to me, miss a level of depth that was essential to this story. The characters, thus, seemed artificial and The main characters lacked a trajectory that could have helped this story. Overall, I felt like I was reading a soapy story that had the potential to be a literary classic.
  • Jenee Rager
    Another amazing outing by Thrity Umrigar, and it's one that will keep me thinking for months to come. Anton is a 9 year old boy living in the ghetto with his crack addicted mother. Despite her addiction, she cares deeply about her son, and tries to do well by him. That's why when he finds himself locked in his apartment during a heatwave he doesn't freak out at first. He knows she'll come back for him. Days go by, and as the utilities are cut off...
  • Rina
    This might be the best of Ms. Umrigar's six books that I have read. This is a story about a well-to-do white family who takes in and adopts a black child. So we come to the nature v. nurture ideology. It probes into the delicate areas of race and privilege, and the consequences of broken trust. It's also a reminder that we all should know from where we came because that aspect of our lives never leaves us, truly.At the end I had some sad feelings...
  • Hayley
    This upmarket bookclub read is unfortunately made up of stock characters who play stock roles, and features an ending that straightens itself out with all the complexity of a yawn. I'm really disappointed, as this plot had potential, but exactly none of it was surprising; things played out exactly as expected, and the seeming race to tie everything up in the end neatly as a wrapped present was rushed and boring at the same time. Would not recomme...
  • Carolyn D.
    I liked it. The main character had peace with himself at the end. I think. I just wish the author expanded more on how it was handled AFTER the situation came out. Very easy to read as it flowed seamlessly.