Book Beginnings on Fridays - Did You Ever Have A Family
Book Beginnings on Fridays is hosted by Rose City Reader and as she says the idea of this meme is
for you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book
you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the
sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the
opener inspires. Please remember to include the title
of the book and the author's name. There's a linky list on
the website and you can use #BookBeginnings on Twitter.
This week my book beginning is from a novel I've only just this minute started reading, Did You Ever Have A Family by Bill Clegg.
He wakes to the sound of sirens. Many, loud, and very near. Then horns; short, angry grunts like the buzzers signaling time-out in the basketball games he watches but does not play in at school.
This book of dark
secrets opens with a blaze. On the morning of her daughter’s wedding,
June Reid’s house goes up in flames, destroying her entire family – her
present, her past and her future. Fleeing from the carnage, stricken and
alone, June finds herself in a motel room by the ocean, hundreds of
miles from her Connecticut home, held captive by memories and the
mistakes she has made with her only child, Lolly, and her partner, Luke.
the turbulence of grief and gossip left in June’s wake we slowly make
sense of the unimaginable. The novel is a gathering of voices, and each
testimony has a new revelation about what led to the catastrophe –
Luke’s alienated mother Lydia, the watchful motel owners, their cleaner
Cissy, the teenage pothead who lives nearby – everyone touched by the
tragedy finds themselves caught in the undertow, as their secret
histories finally come to light.
Lit by the clarity of understanding that true sadness brings, Did You Ever Have a Family
is an elegant, unforgettable story that reveals humanity at its worst
and best, through loss and love, fracture and forgiveness. At the book’s
heart is the idea of family – the ones we are born with and the ones we
create – and the desire, in the face of everything, to go on living.