Thursday, 5 September 2013

Reading May We Be Forgiven

Let's talk about books, because I read three of them in the space of one week on my holiday!

May We Be Forgiven by AM Homes is a book that causes you to choke on the snack during the first few chapters. It starts off quite funny (I myself bought the book thinking it was a funny novel about a dysfunctional family - which it sort of is) and then bam! Car crash, death, mental institution etc. The book follows Harry who never gets very emotional ever and who prefers to live his life with as little disruption to it as possible as he pretends to work on his book about Nixon. This works until he moves in with his aggressive brother's family following a fatal car crash caused by said brother. One thing leads to another and suddenly he finds himself being the sole guardian for his niece and nephew and the family dog and cat. Harry tries a number of different ways to deal with his new situation, with varying results of success. I can't say more without spoiling the book.

Don't get me wrong - this is a funny book. Incredibly funny, even. Harry as a character has the funniest, random thoughts and reading about the events from his point of view is hilarious at times. But the story is also very dark and it makes your stomach churn more than once. More than any of those things it is incredibly touching and while reading it a certain love for each one of the characters - with all their flaws - grows and you can't help but get emotionally invested in Harry and his new family. As if that wasn't reason enough to read it, the writing by AM Homes is wonderful and has an original, witty undertone throughout the entire book. I had to ration this book out so that it would last for a full two days. If that isn't a sign of a good book I don't know what is.

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