Did You Ever Have a Family



Did You Ever Have a Family LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE AND THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD MasterlyThe New York Times Book Review Daring NPR Kirkus Reviews S Best Of 2015 Library Journal S Top Ten Best Books Of 2015 Booklist S Top Ten First NovelsThe Stunning Debut Novel From Bestselling Author Bill Clegg Is A Magnificently Powerful Story About A Circle Of People Who Find Solace In The Least Likely Of Places As They Cope With A Horrific Tragedy.On The Eve Of Her Daughter S Wedding, June Reid S Life Is Upended When A Shocking Disaster Takes The Lives Of Her Daughter, Her Daughter S Fianc , Her Ex Husband, And Her Boyfriend, Luke Her Entire Family, All Gone In A Moment June Is The Only Survivor.Alone And Directionless, June Drives Across The Country, Away From Her Small Connecticut Town In Her Wake, A Community Emerges, Weaving A Beautiful And Surprising Web Of Connections Through Shared Heartbreak.From The Couple Running A Motel On The Pacific Ocean Where June Eventually Settles Into A Quiet Half Life, To The Wedding S Caterer Whose Bill Has Been Forgotten, To Luke S Mother, The Shattered Outcast Of The Town Everyone Touched By The Tragedy Is Changed As Truths About Their Near And Far Histories Finally Come To Light.Elegant And Heartrending, And One Of The Most Accomplished Fiction Debuts Of The Year, Did You Ever Have A Family Is An Absorbing, Unforgettable Tale That Reveals Humanity At Its Best Through Forgiveness And Hope At Its Core Is A Celebration Of Family The Ones We Are Born With And The Ones We Create.

10 thoughts on “Did You Ever Have a Family

  1. says:

    Rough as life can be, I know in my bones we are supposed to stick around and play our part Even if that part is coughing to death from cigarettes, or being blown up young in a house with your mother watching And even if it s to be that mother Someone down the line might need to know you got through it June Reid s daughter Lolly, Lolly s fiance Will, her ex husband and her now boyfriend Luke are killed in a fire while June has to watch It s on the eve of her daughter s wedding The aftermath with the small town gossip about it possibly being Luke s fault since he is the half black bastard son, who lost his college scholarship and went to jail for drug sales start buzzing His mom Lydia is also left behind She has always steeled herself from the talk in town How otherwise would she have survived having a black child when at the time she was married to an abusive white man This book It s told from multiple viewpoints and sometimes that doesn t work for a story This one is done so very right though The characters in this book seem human and real I feel like I could reach into the book and touch them They are not always like able They have so many flaws Like in the case of Lydia, your heart breaks for this woman but then you learn her story and I wanted to rage at her I couldn t...

  2. says:

    This is a rare exceptional elegant book It s quietIt s tragicI didn t cryI didn t laughI was curious as helland intrigued as can be The writing is gorgeousThe characters each will surprise you with tales, memories, scars What distinguishes this novel from all others It s a question that must be asked Because even if you re not certain of the answer, you are certain that there is definitely a distinction Do not miss reading this novel It s absolutely one of the best fiction books this year Here s a quote I just happened to like When you see someone every day for a while, you settle into a rhythm and you come to count on them even if for nothing than fifteen minutes each morning they spend sitting at your counter, on one of your stools, talking about the weather and giving you a big smil...

  3. says:

    This is not a genre a read a lotbut when I find a book as good as this oneit always makes me want to scream from the roof tops READ THIS BOOK Whether you want to listenis completely up to you.It s the perfect summer morning for a weddingbut June s daughter will not live to see itnor will anyone else she loves.June loses everything on this perfect summer s day.She loses her daughter her ex husbandher boyfriendher houseShe loses her life as she knew it but luckily she fl...

  4. says:

    Just finished, still tears in my eyes Beautiful story full of meaning WOW, just WOW I cannot believe how much this book completely hooked me right from the start Just as I was getting to know some of the characters, I was thrown into a horrible tragedy A wedding scene, an explosion, what went wrong I felt I was already there with them, that immediate sense of connection, knowing each and every survivors life would be forever altered I love character studies, and the author, Bill Clegg, makes each and every one feel so deeply real And, speaking of characters, Clegg brings in many that are tangential At one point I thought, how will I remember who is who But, it was exactly at this point the story tightened The connections become clear the further I read Ones life is filled with people who may seem insignificant but are connected to us in ways we might never have imagined As the story tightens, each character has a story to tell, and don t we all What really happened to cause the explosion There are the small town gossips who are sure of their accusations The secrets that can never be told, and the ones that now must be That feeling of being completely alone, and where it can lead Unexpected deaths can break us, or awaken us to what really matters in life There is so much here, so much to question in my own life.More than anything, this is a story of choosing life One of how ...

  5. says:

    3.5 Stars

    The truth will set you free

    This explosively tragic story of devastating loss has a complex narration told from many different perspectives that I found confusing throughout a good portion of the book.

    There is a great story here though that comes together nicely in the last quarter, but overall, it was a somewhat frustrating read for me with an over...

  6. says:

    Did you ever have an editor

  7. says:

    A quiet, stunning novel about family and when tragedy happens, how it can stop our life suddenly, put it in reverse, then moving forward in slow motion, change it dramatically This is a story of tragic proportions June Reid s life is turned on its axis when an accident takes her loved ones In her despair, she leaves blinded with loss In her wake, the small town talks And feels And grieves What emerges are stories and memories, shared hopes and fears of those whose lives were lost and those who fight for a reason to live.Did you ever have a family is a statement rather than a question Maybe spoken as an exasperation or perhaps as a prayer A reminder of being grateful for those who surround us, love us and come in all shapes and sizes They can bring us much joy, hope, strengt...

  8. says:

    Did You Ever Have A Confusing Story, Generic Narrators And Forced Epiphanies 2.5 stars rounded up to 3 After a woman loses her entire family in an accident, she packs up and drives away, without telling anyone where she s going or who she is Through the perspectives of a dozen or so narrators, we have to piece together what happened.It s potentially affecting material, for sure, but the narrators all sound alike, whether they re middle aged women or teenage boys Clegg, whose addiction memoir The Portrait Of An Addict As A Young Man was gripping and visceral, writes in a plain fashion that s meant to be earnest and heartfelt I often found it dull.There s disappointingly little range in his characters voices hence it s hard to tell them apart , and the book is nearly humourless I know, I know how could tragedy be funny Believe me, a born novelist would find a way to insert humour, if only for contrast. And I m not sure why some sections are narrated in the first person and others are in the third.Plus, call me a curmudgeon, but I m getting tired of the interconnected story device, the we re all part of the same universe isn t life mysterious structure whether it s in film Babel, Crash or books.I love genuine fictional epiphanies, but I hate when they re forced, and what Clegg tr...

  9. says:

    This book is a beautiful piece of fiction 5 Big Shiny Stars I was so engrossed in the putting the pieces together of the characters before and after the tragedy It was like 6 degrees of separation Highly recommend, and that s not because the book took place in Connecticut and the author and I are both from Connecticut It s because the writing, story and character development are so well done Did you Ever Have A Family begins after the most unspeakable of tragedies occurs to June Reid An explosion completely takes away her family June takes off in her Subaru across the country and then the story unravels from there Short chapters told from many points of view and through ...

  10. says:

    I m a bit speechless right now This book was phenomenal, in so many ways And for a majority of the book I was really enjoying it, but that ending while not mind blowing or particularly shocking gave me chills It s these kinds of books, ones that you can t put down, that bring you to tears, or resonate deeply within you, that stay with you the most It makes you grateful for the community around you friends, family, even the people you don t think affect your life, but at the end of the day are all part of your story And I have a feeling that this story will last 5 stars I also need to add that I was sent a galley copy of this by the publisher, but all thoughts and opinions in this review are 100% my own Also I can t wait for this to come out and for everyo...

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