Review: The End of the Day

The End of the Day

The End of the Day
By Bill Clegg
Gallery/Scout Press, 9781476798202, September 29, 2020, 320pp.

The Short of It:

I was super excited for Clegg’s new book after loving Did You Ever Have a Family, but I had trouble connecting with these characters.

The Rest of It:

Blurb from the publisher:

A retired widow in rural Connecticut wakes to an unexpected visit from her childhood best friend whom she hasn’t seen in forty-nine years.

A man arrives at a Pennsylvania hotel to introduce his estranged father to his newborn daughter and finds him collapsed on the floor of the lobby.

A sixty-seven-year-old taxi driver in Kauai receives a phone call from the mainland that jars her back to a traumatic past.

Here’s the deal, this is a novel but it reads like a collection of interconnected short stories. I was mildly interested in each of the characters but I struggled to find how they were all connected with each other. It took a very long time for me to see the common threads. But, Clegg’s writing is often very thought-provoking so even though I struggled with the story itself, I still found myself enjoying individual sections. It just never came together for me as a novel.

I had very high hopes for this book but with the pandemic and my current state of mind, I found myself a little frustrated trying to put it all together. Sadly, it was not a win for me.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

6 thoughts on “Review: The End of the Day”

  1. That’s disappointing. I loved his last novel, Did You Ever Have a Family. In fact, it was a favorite the year I read it. The way you described the connecting stories/threads aspect reminds me of Improvement by Joan Silber, which I loved. Did you know it was set up that way before you started or were you surprised? I’ll still give this a try at some point, but will keep your thoughts in mind. It’ll help temper my expectations.

    1. I did get your comment; it just went straight to WP and not email. The Clegg book. It’s not really a book of stories but it felt that way. It was choppy and the switch between characters was maybe too abrupt? Plus, I only really cared about one of the characters so the others were not all that interesting to me. I kept waiting for it to come together.

  2. Yeah I wasn’t a big Clegg fan with his first one … so I think I’ll pass. Sorry it wasn’t a win for you.

  3. The short blurb for each storline sounds so good and promising; too bad it didn’t all come together in a cohesive way.

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