Glamour Book Club: Let’s Discuss Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg0 Comments

By admin
Posted on 09 May 2015 at 5:06am

In the second installment of Glamour‘s book club, a group of us bibliophiles met once again to discuss Bill Clegg’s debut novel, Did You Ever Have a Family. Clegg has formerly penned two memoirs that reveal the private drug addiction of a very public New York City literary agent, so we were all very curious to dive into his first foray in fiction considering this change in direction. The story takes place in a small Connecticut town where a tragedy unfolds, and characters affected both near and far share their sorrow and differing points of view (which there are many of). Clegg’s sharp descriptions and complex characters made us all agree that this read was worthy of a strong recommendation. So, bookmark this page, read the book, and then come back to discuss with us…

clegg

One of the first things you notice in the book is, as mentioned above, the abundance of perspectives. While sometimes this choice of storytelling was confusing, we all found ourselves trusting Clegg enough to know that even if we didn’t remember who was related to whom and how they were connected, their story would unfold in a meaningful way. We never felt jarred or out of place—just immersed in an all-encompassing story.

As for the characters, we each had our favorites (while all acknowledging that Luke was by far the best looking). But we agreed that all of them were robust and relatable, full of life and emotion. “I can’t believe June did that to Annette at camp!” and “Was Silas really high the whole time he was working for Luke?” and “Ugh, Lydia, how desperate is she? How dare she not stand up for her son’s innocence!” We debated every action and motive, demonstrating how authentic they were in our minds.

Now, we wouldn’t be editors if we didn’t have a few qualms: Lolly’s letter to her mother felt slightly too easy because closure like that is rarely so cut and dry. And June, get your maternal priorities in order, lady. Talk about too little too late. Regarding the ending, we were happy to have a little more background into the fire, but we were curious: Would Silas, a young irresponsible stoner, really be so inclined to go into someone else’s home to “fix” their stove? Ehhh… Maybe more likely to go into their fridge?

There you have it—our reflections on the absorbing and exquisite story in Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg. All in all, very worthy of a recommendation. And before you tell us what you think in the comments below, let us leave you with one of our favorite final passages:

“Rough as life can be, I know in my bones we are supposed to stick around and play our part…And it might be you never know the part you played, what it meant to someone to watch you make your way each day. Maybe someone or something is watching us all make our way. I don’t think we get to know why.”

Photos: Courtesy of Publisher

All Entertainment

Read Also
Advertisement
You might also likeclose
+ +