Home Fires

  • by Donald Katz, Jonathan Alter (introduction), Ricky Ian Gordon (afterword)
  • Narrated by Joe Barrett, Jonathan Alter (introduction), Ricky Ian Gordon (afterword)
  • 28 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Home Fires is the powerful saga of the Gordon family - real people, names unchanged. Spanning nearly five decades, from the end of World War II to the early 1990s, their story has the scope, depth, wealth of incident, and emotional intensity of a great novel, and an abundance of humor, scandal, warmth, and trauma - the recognizable components of family life. This is also a masterful chronicle of the turbulent postwar era, illuminating the interplay between private life and profound cultural changes.
Donald Katz begins his account in 1945, when Sam Gordon comes home from the war to his young wife, Eve, and their two-year-old, Susan, eager to move his family into the growing middle class. After a few years in the Bronx, Sam and Eve move to a new Long Island subdivision and have two more children. As the '50s yield to the '60s, the younger Gordons fly out into the culture like shrapnel from an artillery shell, each tracing a unique trajectory: Susan, early into rock 'n' roll and civil rights, Vassar girl, feminist, author of "The Politics of Orgasm", and recovering drug addict; Lorraine, teenage beatnik and leftie, one-time member of a women's rock band, longtime follower of an Indian religious teacher; Sheila, the "good" daughter who married then remarried, with a big suburban house, two kids, and a therapist; and Ricky, the youngest, witness to the family traumas and cause of a few himself, openly gay, eclectically New Age, and a successful songwriter and composer. And all Sam and Eve ever wanted - like millions of others who had experienced the Depression and the war - was a "normal family".
Katz tells the Gordons' story - the unraveling of Sam's and Eve's American dream, to the slow, hopeful reknitting of the family - marshaling a vivid cast of supporting characters. Deftly juxtaposing day-to-day family life with landmark public events, Katz creates a rich and revealing portrait of the second half of the 20th century in America.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

great story

Would you consider the audio edition of Home Fires to be better than the print version?

yes.. felt as if I was being told the family story (a bit gossipy)


What did you like best about this story?

loved the natural mix of a family story and the historical references and description of the times the family lived in. I like all the characters whose personalities shone through the descriptive narrative


What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

The accent given to each member brought them to life


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

its too long for one sitting but great book


Any additional comments?

loved this and would highly recommend

Read full review

- lepaul

Book Details

  • Release Date: 27-05-2014
  • Publisher: Donald Katz