The Shape of Family is a dreary predictable dysfunctional family novel. The death of the young son of Jaya and Keith, Prem, sets in motion a chain of boring events. The sister of Prem, Karina, goes through guilt and self- cutting mutilation and joins a cult. The parents divorce. Keith is accused of insider trading. Jaya goes off on religious mystical renewal search. The only aspect that prevents the book from being a total disaster is that after Prem dies he periodically narrates chapters in his own voice. Reflecting on how his life and death.