August 20, 2015

Did You Ever Have a Family

Did You Ever Have a Family
author Bill Clegg
publisher   Gallery/Scout Press
to be published  early September 2015
source:  NetGalley and publisher

reflections:    Almost all of us have made mistakes in connection with our families.   I sometimes look back and wish "if only I hadn't ...."    I have feelings of guilt.   Fortunately, my mistakes aren't as deep-reaching and tragic as those made by the characters in Did You Ever Have a Family.

    The book opens with a house explosion killing four people.   One person, June who happened to be outside,  survives.   Soon after the funerals,  June gets in her car and drives as far away as she can.
     Each chapter tells about a different person and how the explosion affected that person.   Secrets abound.  Mistakes were made in the past, such as not recognizing a child's artistic interests or sending a child to boarding school.   There is one regret after another.   Some poignant sentences.
That is a moment I would do differently if I had the chance.  There are many. 
Everyone in his life stood by him, but I failed him.  I did worse than fail him. 
my perspectives:   I wish I had been told at the beginning to keep notes on who is who and how each person is connected.   So many characters!   I wonder  why the author included some in the book.  When I started some chapters, I'd have to stop and think, "now exactly who is this person?"    I especially liked the descriptions at the beginning of  how the residents of the tourist town felt about the summer weekend people invading their lives.    I am challenging myself to go back to re-read this book next year, with pencil and paper in hand to draw connections.

 I highlighted so many sentences in my kindle because they spoke to my heart. I need to close with another haunting sentence:
... the town where she has lived her whole life, where there are no friends, no family, but where her feet are famous to the sidewalks.