For readers of Alice Munro, Elizabeth Strout, and Claire Lombardo, Chorus shepherds seven siblings through two life-altering events—their mother's untimely death, and a shocking teenage pregnancy—that ultimately follow them through their lives as individuals and as a family.
The seven Shaw siblings have long been haunted by two early and profoundly consequential events. Told in turn back and forth over time, from the early twentieth century through the 1950s, each sibling relays their own version of the memories that surround both their mother's mysterious death and the circumstances leading up to and beyond one sister's scandalous teenage pregnancy. As they move into adulthood, the siblings assume various new roles: caretaker to their aging father, addict, enabler, academic, decorated veteran, widow, and mothers and fathers to the next generation.
Entangled in a family knot, each sibling encounters divorce, drama, and death, while haunted by a mother who was never truly there. Through this lens, they all seek not only to understand how her death shaped their family, but also to illuminate the insoluble nature of the many familial experiences we all encounter—the concept of home, the tenacity that is a family’s love, and the unexpected ways through which healing can occur.
Chorus is a hopeful story of family, of loss and recovery, of complicated relationships forged between brothers and sisters as they move through life together, and of the unlikely forces that first drive them away and then ultimately back home.
Rebecca Kauffman is originally from rural northeastern Ohio. She received her B.A. from the Manhattan School of Music in Violin Performance, and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from NYU. She currently lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia