Tag Archives: Mother-Daughter Relationships

Review: Did You Ever Have a Family

Did You Ever Have a Family

Did You Ever Have a Family
By Bill Clegg
Gallery/Scout Press, Paperback, 9781476798189, May 2016, 320pp.

The Short of It:

Grief is processed in many different ways and Clegg manages to capture all of them in this beautifully written novel.

The Rest of It:

On the eve of her daughter’s wedding, June Reid’s life is forever changed when she loses her daughter, her daughter’s fiance, her ex-husband and her boyfriend in a tragic accident. Losing what is essentially her entire family, June packs her car and heads to a town where she can be alone for awhile.

Each character plays a role in the telling of this story. Some characters are more superfluous than others, yet all of them are important to the end result. As June makes her way across the country, other people also affected by this accident, are forced to come to terms with their own grief.

This is a tragic story about an imperfect family trying to come together to celebrate this joyous day and instead what they have is pain, sorrow and regret over what they didn’t say or didn’t do. There are beautiful, touching moments between these characters which makes the reading more an exploration of grief than a sad, heavy story about loss.

I really loved how the story came together at the end. It was a very satisfying read as far as books go and my book club had plenty to discuss. I highly recommend it.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: God Help The Child

God Help the Child

God Help the Child
By Toni Morrison
Vintage, Paperback, 9780307740922, January 2016, 192pp.

The Short of It:

What you say to a child, whether good or bad, affects them long into adulthood.

The Rest of It:

A baby born with blue-black skin is raised by her mother, Sweetness, who can easily pass for white. The difference in skin color is a constant burden to Sweetness, who takes it upon herself to “toughen” the girl up. Perhaps, to save her from future hurt.

As the girl grows into a young woman, she assumes the name Bride and reinvents herself; embracing the skin color she’s been given. But the events of the past and the lack of affection she received as a child carry into her other relationships. Her boyfriend leaves her without any explanation, her friend sits in the wings waiting for the perfect opportunity to take over her business, and the relationship with her mother continues to test the boundaries of what a mother-daughter relationship should be.

God Help the Child is both the title of this book and Morrison’s plea to the reader. Her message is clear. What you say and you do to children leaves a mark and all of the characters in this book are examples of this. Although it’s a short read, I never felt as if it was too short or underdeveloped. Some of the members of my book club did feel that it was somewhat abbreviated in the telling but there was still plenty to discuss.

Of course, the writing is lovely. There were some passages that I just read over and over again because they were so beautifully written. For a book club read, you really can’t go wrong with Morrison.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.