Tag Archives: Mother-Son 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: After the Parade

After the Parade

After the Parade
By Lori Ostlund
Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781476790107, September 22, 2015, 352pp.

The Short of It:

With pain, comes growth.

The Rest of It:

As a young child, Aaron Englund had no idea how his father’s death after a fall from a parade float would affect him in the years to come but when his adult relationship with his beloved Walter ends, he’s forced to take a look at his past.

After the Parade is exactly what I look for in a good read. It’s a quiet story with interesting, quirky characters and unusual situations. When Aaron realizes that he can no longer maintain a relationship with Walter, he moves out and meets a host of people who, although flawed, serve a purpose in his healing.

This is truly a book about relationships. Mother and son, father and son, colleague to colleague, innocent bystanders, etc. I loved how open Aaron was to all of it. He’s a sensible guy and takes his hits as they come but he learns from them too which makes him so relatable. This book is filled with quite “aha” moments. I found myself rereading sections just to let the ideas sink in.

If you are like me and like quiet, meaningful reads then you will enjoy this one. It will be on my list of faves for the year because to me, this was the full package as far as reads go.

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