Keep It In the Family Book: Chapter 39 Meaning Explained

By David Thompson Posted:
Keep It In the Family cover

Chapter 39 of John Marrs' book Keep It In the Family is turning heads in the reading community online.

Marrs is a prolific author who transitioned from a career in freelance journalism to becoming a bestselling writer known for his gripping thrillers and speculative fiction. He has numerous acclaimed novels to his name, most notably The One which inspired a hit Netflix series.

In Keep It In the Family, Mia and Finn's home renovation journey takes a terrifying turn as they unearth unsettling secrets, leading Mia on a perilous quest to uncover the truth and protect her family from a sinister past.

Keep It In the Family Chapter 39 Explained

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About halfway through Keep It In the Family by John Marrs, readers are greeted with a short and sweet Chapter 39, from Finn's perspective:


That's right, "F--k" is the only word written in Chapter 39, but what does it mean? And why did Marrs make such a bold (and explicit) choice?

To begin, there is a direct lead-in to Chapter 39: a flashback during Chapter 38.

What prefaces Chapter 39 is The Sunday News reporting on how Finn has not only been cheating on his wife Mia for years with his ex, but he also has a 4-year-old child with said ex.

Following the incriminating news report, Chapter 39 is Finn's brief, unfiltered response to his infidelity becoming public knowledge.

Chapter 40 is Mia's (much lengthier) response to the report, beginning with, "I'm relatively calm, all things considered. Those 'things' being that my husband is a lying, cheating bastard who has fathered a baby with his ex-girlfriend and continued their affair throughout our marriage."

Considering how Finn knows this breaking news will affect his (already spiraling) life thus far through the novel, his one-word response in Chapter 39 seems warranted.

What Is Keep It In the Family About?

As Chapter 39 is only about halfway through Keep It In the Family, here's a glance at how the thriller concludes.

During the dark turn of the story, the attic of the new house reveals a secret: seven suitcases containing the remains of children. 

This discovery throws the already tense family dynamics into further chaos, especially as Mia grapples with postpartum depression exacerbated by her fixation on the dead children. 

As the police investigation unfolds, the events that led to the children's deaths are gradually revealed through spread-out chapters from different perspectives. Flashback chapters help give readers a better understanding of the dark history of the house. 

For the full story, interested readers can buy the Kindle version of Keep It In the Family for $1.99 USD.

- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.