I’m on a roll: three good books in a row! Lark and Termite is the story of a family that’s much out-of-the-norm and beset by unusually burdensome challenges but that works despite the struggles. Lark and Termite are siblings (hlaf-siblings, since nothing is simple in the family) who live with their aunt following their mother’s abandonment and suicide, respectively. They live in a small West Virginia town where their aging and hard-working aunt is helped by her ex-lover who is also her employer and much more, as well as her neighbor and sometime admirer — or is it Lark he admires, in impeccable taste?
Little by little Termite’s father’s story is revealed as he dies in the Korean war — together with their mother’s complicated life. It could all be quite grim except that it is not: tough going, for sure, for all the main characters but there’s much love and hope as the complicated familial history is revealed. Very satisfying.