Posted Friday, February 17, 2006, 09:42 AM
As I get older I’m finding myself drawn to more sentimental reading material. I’m sure it has something to do with the effect my wife has had on my personality. Regardless of what has caused this change in my reading tastes, I really did enjoy this book. It was written by a friend of mine a few years ago, and I’m only just now getting to it (Sorry Joe). The basic story line is that a man reveilles to his family that he has a son and daughter from a previous marriage, and that he and his current wife have hid this from their three daughters either whole lives. Well, Dad is dieing when one of these children contacts him, and he wants to re-establish contact.
What I liked about this book is that you get to see the story through the eyes of each character, and each person is unique. You get the view of the daughter that is jealous of her family and thinks that these long lost relatives are only after her father’s hard earned money. Then there is the daughter who just wants people to get along, and the daughter that plays the go between for all the members of the family. There are others that tell “their” version of how things happen. Most of this is from the first person perspective, either recalling how things happened that day, or as they were happening. All of these things add up to create a window into this family’s world, and makes you really hope that things are going to work.
The one thing that kind of a bummer for me was that it took me a while to get into the story. The first few chapters are good, but I did not find my self needing to find out what was going to happen till about chapter five. Once I got past that point I started to become emotionally invested in the story. I wanted to know who “Danny and Donna” were. I wanted to know if Hugh was going to make it out of the hospital. I wanted to know if Jackie was going to call a lawyer and take some kind of action. But to get to that point I had to trust what others had said about the book, and keep going. I like it when a book grabs me by the nose and forces me to pay attention, and this book is defiantly not that way.
One thing that made me appreciate this book was that the author does not use it as a platform to evangelize the reader. So many Christian Authors turn me off because their books sell Jesus as a cure all for the character’s problems. This book is not about that. This book is about how a family deals with pain, chaos, uncertainty, and change, by finally coming to terms with who they are as a family. All of this happens with imagery of forgiveness, making peace with people, and celebrating that fact that family is more than just the people you grew up with. The characters do have a faith in God, but that is not what the story is about; its about their family.
I recommend this book to anyone who like a good touchy feely book. The perfect thing to follow a story like “She’s Come Undone” with, because it makes you think that people actually do working this out without turning their lives to crap.
At Close of Day
Joseph Bentz’s Website