Book Review: Family Affair

Kelly’s Review of Family Affair: A Novel by Caprice Crane

Family Affair: A Novel is author and Los Angeles native Caprice Crane’s third novel. Published in September 2009 by Bantam Dell, an imprint of Random House, the book follows a couple navigating a divorce and the ensuing custody battle over the husband’s immediate family.

When Layla and Brett began dating in high school, Layla found the family she’d always wanted in The Fosters. Now, after six years of marriage, college football coach Brett is feeling as though the spark is gone and is resentful of the close relationship Layla has with his family. Layla, a pet photographer who is blissfully unaware of her husband’s unhappiness, mistakenly thinks Brett wants to take their marriage to the next level and suggests having a baby. She learns Brett actually wants to take things in a different direction – he wants a divorce. Layla is devastated but refuses to lose The Fosters and the years of memories she has made with them. She and Brett begin vying for The Fosters' allegiance by showering them with expensive gifts, planning family outings and other desperate acts of bribery. Layla eventually decides to make it a legal matter and files for joint custody of her in-laws.

Colorful characters decorate the pages of this novel. Brett’s brother Scott is a socially awkward aspiring comic book author harboring a clandestine love for Layla. Brett’s sister and Layla’s business partner, Trish, is a lesbian who speaks her mind and attempts to knock some sense into her immature brothers. Each chapter is written in the first person from the perspective of a different family member. This style allows the reader to jump into the family feud and get wrapped up in their dysfunction.

Crane has a knack for realistic dialogue that can likely be credited to her experience writing for television and the big screen. Her ability to paint such an accurate picture of modern family dynamics is what makes this book so easy to relate to and entertaining.

For more information about Crane visit her website at You can also follow her on Twitter @capricecrane. Family Affair: A Novel can be purchased at all major bookstores or online by visiting What We're Reading. To learn more about other books published by Bantam Dell you can visit
What do you think of this review? Do you want to read Family Affair: A Novel? Have you read it or read Crane's other books? Let us know!