Did You Ever Have A Family

Did You Ever Have A Family

eBook - 2015
Average Rating:
17
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This book of dark secrets opens with a blaze. On the morning of her daughter's wedding, June Reid's house goes up in flames, destroying her entire family - her present, her past and her future. Fleeing from the carnage, stricken and alone, June finds herself in a motel room by the ocean, hundreds of miles from her Connecticut home, held captive by memories and the mistakes she has made with her only child, Lolly, and her partner, Luke.

In the turbulence of grief and gossip left in June's wake we slowly make sense of the unimaginable. The novel is a gathering of voices, and each testimony has a new revelation about what led to the catastrophe - Luke's alienated mother Lydia, the watchful motel owners, their cleaner Cissy, the teenage pothead who lives nearby - everyone touched by the tragedy finds themselves caught in the undertow, as their secret histories finally come to light.

Lit by the clarity of understanding that true sadness brings, Did You Ever Have a Family is an elegant, unforgettable story that reveals humanity at its worst and best, through loss and love, fracture and forgiveness. At the book's heart is the idea of family - the ones we are born with and the ones we create - and the desire, in the face of everything, to go on living.

Publisher: New York : Gallery Books, 2015
ISBN: 9781473522039
147352203X
9781476798196
1476798192
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Marlowe Nov 23, 2016

Initially this novel did not grab me, but by the end, when all the threads got pulled together, and you could see the entire work, I appreciated the care and attention taken. This is a character study, on a large scale, connected by a single meaningful event. And yet, as we move backward and forward in time, we see how many events have influenced the lives of these few people, in a single town, and across the country. Action, while potentially fleeting in the novel, is thematically so important. The actions, or more often inaction of characters, has such profound consequences. This is a quick read, and I believe, ultimately a satisfying one.

j
jannylegs
Jul 18, 2016

Loved it. Like a meal with friends you don't want to end.

p
provere13
Jul 15, 2016

Beyond boring. Nothing happens. I was 92 pages in and put it down for good.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 05, 2016

A quick and compelling read, Did You Ever Have a Family is a well-rendered story of tragedy and family. Told from alternating perspectives, this novel is an easy read and does not grow stale.

ehbooklover May 26, 2016

3.5 stars. A character-driven story of loss, grief, and blame. It took me awhile to really get into this book because I found all of the different characters confusing and didn't really understand what their relationship to each other was. But the longer I read the book, the harder it was to stop reading it. Luckily, my patience paid off as all my questions were answered by the end.

r
rdw39
Apr 21, 2016

This book really resonated with me concerning the different kinds of family one has. I was quite intrigued by the way the author intertwined the various characters & especially when he introduced new faces to us, which ultimately tied in to the story line. I was absorbed in the story & characters throughout the entire novel.

carolynv Mar 23, 2016

A powerful, moving book with unforgettable characters. A story about the impact of the wrong choices we make. A sad but ultimately uplifting story about overcoming our past and the will to go on. I really enjoyed this beautifully-written novel.

smc01 Mar 21, 2016

Just finished this amazing book with my chest filled with emotion and a lump in my throat. It's one of those books that I linger over after finishing it. So much to think about. These are characters who will stay with me for a long time. The writing is spare, elegant and wise and the story is compelling. A must read and an excellent book club pick. It's one of those books that I want to tell so many people to read.

r
rbrooksr16
Mar 02, 2016

A bunch of whiny, self-absorbed characters with crudely drawn motivations parade through clich├ęd terrain. The main message you glean from this book is to make sure your old appliances are replaced or repaired.

h
harrissusanc
Mar 02, 2016

There's a gas explosion in June's house in the Northwest Hills of Connecticut the day before her daughter's wedding and the couple is killed with June's ex-husband and boyfriend. All the people and places in shifting voices and timeframes constellate like an oral history, in a very good Stephen King (without paranormal) town and country dystopia. At the center of everything is the guy on the bicycle who didn't stop the explosion, got stoned and rode away. You sift through the possibility of your connectedness when you read this. Rarely does interdependence become the "world's magic..."

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