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Prepublication Reviews and Expertly Selected Title Lists

Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

Did you Ever Have a Family by Bill CleggLong-listed for the Man Booker prize before it is even published, Bill Clegg’s debut fiction describes a portrait of a family and one that is built in the wake of loss.

On the day June Reid was to celebrate her daughter’s marriage, a terrible accident occurs, killing her daughter, son-in-law-to-be, ex-husband, and her current boyfriend, Luke. As the only survivor, how can she move on after such a devastating loss?

Told from the varied perspectives of those around the tragedy, their voices give insight into the history of this small town and helps put the pieces into place that wouldn’t have connected otherwise.

Central to the story, is Luke’s mother, Lydia, whose poor life choices have always made her an outcast in the small Connecticut town where everyone knows your business. Although, Lydia and June were friends before the tragedy, Lydia doesn’t know how to be there for June whose loss is even greater than her own.

June, numb and empty with no reason to stay, takes a road trip across the country finally stopping at a motel her daughter once visited.

June and Lydia both had rocky relationships with their children and we are shown in glimpses the roads they travelled to repair those relationships and we feel the heartbreak in their realization that those repairs can never be complete.

Can these two women move past their mistakes, find forgiveness and healing, and build something resembling a family?

A heartbreaking, yet inspiring read that will be on everyone’s reading lists this fall.

– Amy

Order in Bibz.

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