A Death in the Family, Paperback Book
5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


On a sultry summer night in 1915, Jay Follet leaves his house in Knoxville, Tennessee, to tend to his father, whom he belives is dying.

The summons turns out to be a false alarm, but on his way back to his family, Jay has a car accident and is killed instantly.

Dancing back and forth in time and braiding the viewpoints of Jay's wife, brother, and young son, Rufus, Agee creates an overwhelming powerful novel of innocence, tenderness, and loss that should be read for the sheer music of its prose.


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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

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My father died when I was a baby. When I read this book as a teenager, so many things about my life perspective fell into place.

Review by

This is a book that helped me so much when my own mother died many years ago.

Review by

Jay Follett, a dutiful husband and father, travels to his parents’ home because his father is dying. On his way back to his wife and children, he is killed in a car accident. The reaction to this tragedy by his family is told with heartbreaking prose. I was especially moved by the thoughts, feelings, and actions of his son, Rufus. This novel was largely autobiographical for Agee as his father died in a car accident when he was six years old. Sadly, Agee himself died of a heart attack at the age of 45, leaving behind young children of his own.This novel profoundly touched me as my own father died of heart complications at the age of 44. The death of someone so young affects a family very deeply for many years. It is a tragedy I hope few people have to experience.

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