The title drew me in… and yes, the synopsis while it worried me that it may be a little too close to home – connected with me over the fact that this book is about in the wake of tragedy… how a community can react. ~Sheila
On the night before June’s daughters wedding an unbelievable tragedy happens that takes the lives of her daughter, her daughter’s fiance, her ex husband and her boyfriend.
Her entire family wiped out in the blink of an eye.
June, now has lost all direction and drives away from the destruction of her life… looking for meaning… looking for anything.
Left behind, is a community with connections to the tragedy, with their own version of the heartbreak of loss… connecting in ways one would never have guessed. There is the wedding caterer who never is payed. The couple who run the motel where June stays. The mother to June’s boyfriend. And so much more.
Did You Ever Have A Family was a semi dangerous undertaking for me at this time in my life. I was pulled in by the story line – mainly the mention of how a community is effected by loss. I understand this. I am living it.
I enjoyed the story line very much. Our protagonist’s June’s tragedy was very unlike mine which was good, and I found I could listen to this without worry about hitting my own personal land mines. Her relationship’s were very different then my own and therefore was able to be what I needed it to be – a book of loss and compassion and indeed – fiction.
While I can not say I loved the story, I did appreciate it. It is an interesting take on a tragedy that I have not read before. In this case, I listened to the audio version with Bill Clegg (the author) narrating. While the narration was good, I did struggle with Bill Clegg’s reading of the female parts of the book. I caught myself often having to remind myself that this was a girl speaking, which unfortunately for me took away from the enjoyment of the overall listen.
One thing I did love is there is some beautiful writing here…
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 even if it is to be blown up young in a house with your mother watching. Even if it is to be that mother. Someone down the line might need to know you got through it. Or maybe someone you wont see coming will need you. And it might be you never know the part you played. What it meant to someone to watch you make your way each day.
~Bill Clegg (Did You Ever Have A Family)
This gave me pause. So beautiful So true. This is a fairly short book, and one I would suggest giving a try if you enjoy a slower paced, thoughtful read that may give you pause on how we are all somehow connected.