Did You Ever Have a Family; Bill Clegg
Simon & Schuster - 2015
Such a powerful book and definitely not a feel-good story.
A few hours before the garden wedding of Lolly Reid and Will Landis was to take place at the home of Lolly's mother June, an explosion and fire destroys the home and kills those inside.
Left to deal with the aftermath is 52 year-old June Reid who must bury her daughter, an only child with whom she had been working on repairing their relationship. Her future son-in-law, Will, her ex-husband Adam, as well as June's much younger boyfriend Luke were also killed in the fire.
After the funerals June leaves Connecticut and heads west in an attempt to deal with her grief. She takes a room at an inn where her daughter Lolly had once stayed, and spends her days mostly in isolation as she rehashes her imperfect past and her shattered present.
The narrative is told in multiple POV from several individuals both small and large who were connected to and affected by the tragedy and its aftermath. June's story is told in both the past and present. And, if the tragedy wasn't terrible enough, the narrative reveals even deeper, more painful conflicts and transgressions that fractured some relationships even before the explosion. All of this, of course, leads to even more guilt, regrets, and grief for June.
A sad and depressing story told in a bold attention grabbing way, there were no feel good moments, but yet there were a few unexpected glimmers of hope that could be felt through the kindness of others.