Elisabeth Hyde * G.P. Putnam’s Sons * April 10, 2018 * 294 Pages
Ruth, George, and Lizzie are home visiting their 81-year old father, Murray. He’s doing okay, but certain things are slipping and they all know it. Ruth is ready to talk about putting Murray in a care facility. George is trying to keep everyone happy. And Lizzie is just trying to keep her crazy life—caused mostly by colossally bad decision-making—in order. As the three siblings reminisce, though, secrets about their mother and older brother, both now long-since passed, begin to emerge. The siblings try to make sense of what they learn while also caring for their ailing father.
* * * * *
I thought I was going to enjoy this book a lot more than I did. I like the whole “dysfunctional family reunion” angle, but, good grief, the story is slow, boring, and depressing to boot. Author Elisabeth Hyde tries (very hard…) to keep things light and quirky, but it just doesn’t work. Her writing isn’t funny, and the characters aren’t charming or complicated—they’re emotionally limited and obnoxious. It doesn’t help either that so much of the family’s story is sad: past, present, future, it’s all looking grim.
All I can say is that this book is uninspired and tired. I liked the brief middle section written from Lillian’s perspective a bit more, but it wasn’t enough to save the whole thing. Overall, a disappointing read.
Thank you to G.P. Putnam’s Sons and Amazon Vine for the Advanced Reader Copy!