The Way the Family Got Away

Michael Kimball

This is the way the family got away. They pack all the things they can fit into the car and place the body of their dead brother in the toy box and put him in the boot. They leave Mineola, Texas and head across the terrifying, vacant landscape of Mid-America. In every place they visit, they sell off what they can to make it to the next town. They keep going to keep the family together.

Michael Kimball’s remarkable The Way The Family Got Away is the story of the journey seen through the eyes of the family’s surviving children, a young boy and his younger sister. They try to make sense of death; why they must leave home and how they get from one place to the next. It is an extraordinary study of the effects of grief upon language and the ways that loss makes itself felt through a child’s imagination.

Reviews of The Way the Family Got Away

  • *‘Kimball’s first novel … The largeness of the message should not detract from the intricacy of fine, precise storytelling … he has taken it [American literature] somewhere very dark and unsettling.”
    The Times
    *”Occasionally a novel by a new writer will cause critics to choke with excitement. This is one.’
    The Scotsman
    *”An extraordinary novel”
    Express