This book begins with a devastating loss and then proceeds to tell the back stories of each character who has died and the living. It is heartbreaking that the main character loses everyone in one fell swoop. How she is able to find a place in the world again that has meaning is also painful and beautiful to read. I think it is a sad story overall and yet it is also a story of hope and new beginnings in a very real way. I would not recommend it to anyone dealing with a fresh loss as I wouldn't necessarily call it cathartic.
Good writing and it would make a good discussion because I have read many reviews of varying degrees of like and dislike. Those make the best book talks.
Initially this novel did not grab me, but by the end, when all the threads got pulled together, and you could see the entire work, I appreciated the care and attention taken. This is a character study, on a large scale, connected by a single meaningful event. And yet, as we move backward and forward in time, we see how many events have influenced the lives of these few people, in a single town, and across the country. Action, while potentially fleeting in the novel, is thematically so important. The actions, or more often inaction of characters, has such profound consequences. This is a quick read, and I believe, ultimately a satisfying one.
Loved it. Like a meal with friends you don't want to end.
Beyond boring. Nothing happens. I was 92 pages in and put it down for good.
A quick and compelling read, Did You Ever Have a Family is a well-rendered story of tragedy and family. Told from alternating perspectives, this novel is an easy read and does not grow stale.
3.5 stars. A character-driven story of loss, grief, and blame. It took me awhile to really get into this book because I found all of the different characters confusing and didn't really understand what their relationship to each other was. But the longer I read the book, the harder it was to stop reading it. Luckily, my patience paid off as all my questions were answered by the end.
This book really resonated with me concerning the different kinds of family one has. I was quite intrigued by the way the author intertwined the various characters & especially when he introduced new faces to us, which ultimately tied in to the story line. I was absorbed in the story & characters throughout the entire novel.
A powerful, moving book with unforgettable characters. A story about the impact of the wrong choices we make. A sad but ultimately uplifting story about overcoming our past and the will to go on. I really enjoyed this beautifully-written novel.
Just finished this amazing book with my chest filled with emotion and a lump in my throat. It's one of those books that I linger over after finishing it. So much to think about. These are characters who will stay with me for a long time. The writing is spare, elegant and wise and the story is compelling. A must read and an excellent book club pick. It's one of those books that I want to tell so many people to read.
A bunch of whiny, self-absorbed characters with crudely drawn motivations parade through clichéd terrain. The main message you glean from this book is to make sure your old appliances are replaced or repaired.
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