IN A FAMILY WAY
Orlando Place Press Fiction
Trade Paperback, $10.95
The San Francisco Chronicle called In a Family Way, "a vivid evocation of family life, and a real page-turner."
Keith was disowned by his family when he came out as a gay man. Sonya lost custody of her children when her ex-husband discovered she was a lesbian. Now she and Janice have started a new family -- with Keith's help as sperm donor. But when Janice, the birth mother,
is tragically killed, baby Heather's future is left up to a family court -- the result of a three way struggle for custody between Sonya, Keith
and grandparents bent on rescuing their grandchild from a "homosexual lifestyle."
IN A FAMILY WAY is featured in Reading Group Choices:
Selections for lively book discussions 1997.
"The child's welfare is always the ostensible core of the matter when a kid is taken from or awarded to adoptive, natural, or gay or lesbian parents. In Schwab's novel, the main issue is not just a straight parent's custody versus a lesbian mother's, although that is certainly a part -along with gay-bashing, illegal firings, and family ostracizing - of its searingly painful story. Keith, in disgrace with his ultraconservative Irish Catholic family since coming out to them, provides sperm for Janice, who wishes to raise a child with her older partner, Sonya, whose three children have turned against her since the courts denied her custody of them. We are treated to battles within battles as these gay and lesbian characters fight, with and against one another, for rights and selfhood. And little, red-haired Heather Lynn is at the eye of this lifestyle hurricane."
"This contemporary novel is a must-read for lesbians and gay men who are considering this path. However, this is not just a documentary. Schwab also gives us page-turning suspense, courtroom drama, and human conflict. This novel is populated with fully developed characters who elicit our sympathy in their moral struggle. This is especially evident in the conflict between Keith and his homophobic family. "Keith turned back to his mother. He reached out to catch her hands in his; she reached for him in turn, clamped her hands around his wrists. He could feel the tension travel from her arms up his, the urge to pull him close exactly counterbalanced with the need to push him from her. They stood locked in place, a foot apart, a chasm between them."... Schwab has produced a thought-provoking novel that probes the complexity of the word "family."
MIDWEST BOOK REVIEWER'S BOOKWATCH:
"Straight out of today's headlines, In a Family Way takes a dramatic look at the kinds of moral and legal issues that face lesbian and gay families, and is one of those illuminating 'social issues' novels that are an honored tradition in American literature. Highly recommended."
THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR:
"Schwab captures the joy, humor and disorientation that comes with the territory of parenting a small child."
"The characters created by the author make us smile, make us weep, and give us insight into the lives of those who wish only to claim the rights inherent to any human being living in this or any other country."
LAMBDA BOOK REPORT:
"a refreshing contribution"
THE WASHINGTON BLADE:
"The author (...whose previous book, A Different Sin, was a Gay-themed Civil War romance) has an easy, natural way with dialogue and description, and she knits together a relatively convoluted plot without dropping a single stitch."
Lori L. Lake, Midwest Book Review
"This is a book for gays, lesbians, straights—for anyone interested in the ways that the law and prevailing attitudes have not kept pace with biology and all the possibilities of new family arrangements. It’s an ambitious book full of heart and hope, and I highly recommend it."