Friday, February 26, 2016

Good to a Fault; Marina Endicott

Good to a Fault; Marina Endicott
Harper - 2010

Clara Purdy is a 43 year old woman whose life is stuck.  She never went to college,  has worked for the same insurance company for over 20 years, and although she married, her marriage ended after only 8 months.  People see Clara as sad and perhaps she has a reason to be that way. After her marriage ended she came home to care for her sick parents, who are now deceased. Her life now consists of work and then returning to the tiny bungalow that once belonged to her parents.

As the novel opens Clara is driving to the bank and thinking about the sorry state of her life. As she makes a left hand turn, her car is involved in a significant crash. The occupants of the other car are the Gages, a homeless family who have been living in their car: mother, father, grandmother and 3 young children, the youngest is just 10 months old.

Although no one is seriously injured, there is a lot to figure out for this family.  Clara feels guilty even though she is told by the mother that the accident was not her fault because her husband had sped through a yellow light.  However, Clara can't seem to shake the feeling that she can't just walk away, especially after she learns that Lorraine has late stage lymphoma and will need to begin chemo.
Clara decides to take a brief leave of absence from work and bring the family home to stay with her until they can get on their feet.

Initially Clara is thinking that the situation will be temporary but, after the father, Clayton, takes off during the first night, the difficult grandmother being of no help whatsoever, Clara isn't sure what to do.  She begins to get attached to the children as well and she doesn't want to have to get social services involved, so her situation begins to get much more complex than she ever imagined.

This book moved along slowly for me but, it gave me so much to think about. I couldn't imagine taking in a whole family of strangers like Clara did. Even though Lorraine's family and Claras help a bit, the burden for the most part belonged to her. I thought the characters, especially Clara, Lorraine, Clayton and Paul (a priest) gave readers plenty to discuss making this a good choice for book clubs.

4/5 stars
(my shelves)  

24 comments:

  1. Clara sounds like a rather complex character. I can't imagine bringing a family into my home like that either. I think I'd like this book.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was reading along in your review, and thought it sounded good, and then I thought it sounded familiar, and then I realized that I'd already read this book and liked it! ;)
    I agree that it would make a good book club choice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laurie - that has happened to me. In fact I reread a book and never realized it until i was done LOL

      Delete
  3. I love Marina Endicott's work and read Good to a Fault just a few months ago. Granted it's not heavily plot-driven but there's always so much going on psychologically and emotionally that it never seemed slow to me. You're right that it would be an excellent book-club choice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debbie, I am glad that you enjoyed this one as well.

      Delete
  4. Oh, yes, definitely one that would engage me! Thanks for sharing...and whenever I was tempted to take on people like this when I was younger, I told myself: I gave at the office! Because that was my work life. But it didn't stop me from being a "bleeding heart." Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true and doubly true for someone in your profession.

      Delete
  5. This does sound interesting. My husband and I took a few people in when we were younger. Sometimes things turned out good, other times not so good. Some people just like being down on their luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WOW, I applaud you, I'd even think twice about family :)

      Delete
  6. Sometimes moving slow is okay and it sounds pretty good!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Definitely interesting issues raised!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Boy I can relate to being stuck, that wasn't a fun period for me. Would definitely read this if I get the chance!! New follower.

    http://thebestbasicblogger.blogspot.com/2016/02/blog-news-1.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad u liked the sound of this one and thanks for visiting

      Delete
  9. Interesting premise! This one does sound like a good book for book club discussions. Terrific review!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I read this one a long time ago and though the story was good it rambled a bit. Was slow in parts.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Not my usual fare but this sounds interesting and complex. I imagine it's very emotional.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This book has been on my radar for a while. One day I may even read it! lol Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, as I mentioned it's a quiet book but still enjoyable.

      Delete

Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thank again for visiting.

(I apologize for the word verification, spammers spoil it for all sadly.)