The Family Fang, Kevin Wilson
After reading Nothing to See Here, I wanted more Kevin Wilson. Funny enough, The Family Fang has a connection to Nothing to See Here.
So, what’s up with the Fangs?
Caleb and Camille Fang are performance artists. They have two children, Annie and Buster, (they refer to them as Child A and Child B). From a very early age, like birth, the children become part of their parent’s art. Annie and Buster, as they grow older, become less thrilled about their involvement.
Look, when I was a tween/teen, I was embarrassed to even have parents and mine were pretty low-key. I can’t imagine growing up with Caleb and Camille.
Kevin Wilson does this fun thing where, between chapters, he flashes back to a performance from Annie and Buster’s childhood. It helps to really give you some insight into Child A and Child B without bogging down the pace with backstory.
So, fast forward, the kids are grown. Annie is an actress, Buster is a writer. Neither of them ever visit home.
And then things go crazy. Annie has a bit of a moment and ends up going tits out at work and it ends up in all the magazines. Buster, through a series of truly bizarre events, ends up getting shot in the face with a potato. Overwhelmed by shame and medical bills, Child A and Child B end up going home.
Their parents are thrilled to see them and immediately start planning a performance featuring all four Fangs. It…doesn’t go well.
Then Caleb and Camille go missing…
Are they really missing? Is it an act? The police are convinced C & C are in danger, the kids not so much. Buster comes up with a plan to reveal their parent’s stunt and Annie goes along with it. Will it work?
Well, read the book to find out.
Now, if you’re just here for spoilers, keep reading.
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Now for the SPOILERS:
The ending caught me by surprise. Turns out, Caleb and Camille are not dead. They are, in fact, kinda shit people. When they’re children left them, as children are supposed to do, they formulated a plan and got themselves a new family. Yep. Caleb changed his name and married their former assistant who has two young children. These children grow up believing their father is Caleb and that he’s a long haul truck driver, explaining his long absences. Camille is just a random woman in town. It’s bizarre and, frankly, terrible. Their plan was to fake their deaths, which they did, go live their secondary lives in North Dakota, which they do, and wait seven years to be declared legally dead. At which point they would come back as Caleb and Camille Fang, their most elaborate performance yet.
As the book progresses, The Family Fang becomes less and less about Caleb and Camille and more about Annie and Buster making it, despite their parents.
It’s a fun read with a major tie to Nothing to See Here, Wilson’s newest book. Read my review of that gem here.