Bicycles are awarded to top female students in north central India as an incentive to continue their education. These girls are from atypical families and represent their country’s future.

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What Is Your Family Unit?

  1. Have you ever belonged to a nuclear family unit?
  2. Have you ever belonged to a single-parent family unit?
  3. Have you ever considered someone from a different background as family?

What Are Your Family Dynamics?

  1. Did your family welcome disagreement and challenge?
  2. Did loss heighten the bond between you and your surviving parent?
  3. Did your family approve of commitments to those different from them?

The family is a varied and complex but enduring unit in society and The Inheritance explores the family dynamics of several models including what has been referenced above.

Will This Family Survive?

Anna and Santo Marino are biological parents of Caesare, Benito and Lorenzo and they represent a nuclear unit of shared blood. Santo views his wife and children as a means to continue his name and extend his power. The Marino’s are intact at the beginning but dissension take roots and The Inheritance poses the question as to whether or not its family dynamics will permit survival.

Will This Family Endure?

Caterina Romano and her father, Edoardo, are a single-parent family. The loss of her mother has heightened their relationship and The Inheritance illustrates the emotional vulnerability of this unit. The forces of change can be particularly vicious in single-parent families and Caterina and Edoardo are at risk from the start of the novel.

Will This Family Have A Future?

Caterina Romano and Francesca Mella are from different classes in Calabrian society. They inherited dissimilar lives and were brought together by chance and circumstance. As The Inheritance unfolds, however, the women develop a kinship and deem each other sisters. There are obstacles to their relationship and the novel asks whether or not the family that Caterina and Francesca have created will indeed have a future.

We are all part of some kind of family and, regardless of era or country, change is a constant in society. The family dynamics explored in The Inheritance are central to those challenging us today.

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What are your family dynamics? How has changed altered them? I welcome your comments.

The following photographs reflect the issue discussed in this blog and I hope you enjoy them.

Three women met in my travels to Jaipur, India

I assumed these women in Jaipur, India were sisters because of their similar dress. Only two held purses and I wondered if this one was trying to separate herself from the others.

Selling Naan bread in Jaipur, India.

This mother and son were selling Naan bread in Jaipur, India. Who would take care of the boy, I asked myself, if she was his only family and something happened to her?

Poverty in Varanasi, India

I passed this family when I was in Varanasi, India and on my way to the Ganges River. Would the lives of these children repeat their parent’s cycle of poverty?