AUTHOR: Tomas Moniz
PUBLISHER: Acre Books
DATE: November 15, 2019
by Tomas Moniz
Big Familia follows Juan Gutiérrez, a self-employed single father, as he navigates a tumultuous year of inescapable change. His daughter, Stella, is on the verge of moving away to college; his lover, Jared, is pressing him for commitment; and his favorite watering hole–a ramshackle dive presided over by Bob the Bartender–is transforming into a karaoke hotspot. The story is set in a neighborhood that is also changing, gentrification inciting the ire of the established community.
Upon the unexpected death of one of the bar’s regulars, Juan is sent reeling, and a series of upheavals follow as he both seeks and spurns intimacy, pondering the legacy of distant parents and a failed marriage and grappling with his sexuality–all the while cycling and dating, drinking at Nicks Lounge, and parenting a determined and defiant child-become-woman.
When his incarcerated father dies and Stella reveals she’s pregnant, Juan is forced to examine the emotional bonds that both hold and hinder him, to reassess his ideas of commitment, of friendship, of love. His encounters with various characters–his mother, his ex-wife, a middle-aged punker, an aspiring acupuncturist, a dapper veteran–lead Juan to the realization that he himself must change to thrive.
A main character (Juan) is attracted to people of multiple genders.