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532 pages, Hardcover
First published June 25, 2019
"His name...[is] Jonah Bendt, unfortunately; like, cool, why not just cement the kid's fate as a pipefitter?"
"Lathrop House had gotten cable specifically so this one fucked-up kid with Asperger's could watch it."
"We're in a weirdly speedy schedule tonight. Mom's in schizoid mode."
"Who's that horrible Judd Nelson boy who was sitting in the back row? He looks like a school shooter."
"Jesus, Viol, he's not r*tarded."
"Her r*tarded eraser collection means a lot to her."
Wasn't that every sister's dream from the beginnings of consciousness, to have your siblings under a spell?
But this was the thing: sometimes being a sister meant knowing the right thing to do and still not doing it because winning was more important. Victory was a critical part of sisterhood, she'd always thought. And she was not winning today, by any conceivable stretch, so why the fuck not seize an easy conquest when you could?
I listened to the audio on a staycation so I'll remember it for a while as the book that kept me company, especially since the audio wouldn't end. I had no idea why Lombardo decided this family saga needs to be 500+ pages. There was a lot of repetition and I honestly wanted to skip some pages when the characters really got on my nerves. I read Everything I Never Told You this year and I really liked it although the characters were heavily flawed. But this book? The characters were flawed sure but also horrible. Not all of them but Wendy, Violet, and Lisa in particular. I couldn't relate, emphasize, nor care about them.
I also didn't like the timeline jumps. We had lots of flashbacks and secrets that didn't get revealed till later on in the plot but the flashbacks were just too many to my liking.
✘ David and Marilyn love each other madly. We get it. Trust me. WE GET IT. My head hurts from hearing about all that love repeatedly.
✘ The usage of the word "retard" was questionable and I don't know how it was made through the rounds of editing.
✘ Why do we have someone watching a couple have sex/make out so often? Why do we need to know about it?? So disturbing..
✘ If this book meant to convey that the characters have mental health problems and how it affected their lives, the fact that Ryan openly had depression and no one helped at all.. instead his partner cheated on him and called him man-child knowing she could've afforded to help him see a therapist..
✘The fact that barely anything happens and the children are so mean to each other and their mother.. (with the exception of Grace, she was okay).
I can't say enough how much I couldn't stand Wendy especially followed by Violet. They're so vain. There was nothing redeemable about them. I don't have to like the characters to appreciate family dramas but I need to like something about this book. For me, they were a bunch of pretentious rich people with little love for each other (again the kids). Their problems and lives were full of needless drama and issues. Their personalities are shitty. Their parents were good with them but I guess, too good. I just don't like spoiled characters.
Briefly, I didn't enjoy this book nor do I recommend it. It kept me interested enough to finish it but the ending wasn't worth it. There are much better family sagas out there with better stories and fewer pages. I love listening to family dramas but this one had too much needless drama to my taste.
As for the audiobook, the narration was decent or I would've dropped the audio even if I had nothing else to listen to. We had one narrator but once I got used to the story, the flashbacks stopped confusing me. It certainly made the book more bearable because I wouldn't have lasted till the 50% mark if I was reading the book.
Just a couple of young women looking into their future, back in that nice soft space where they fit seamlessly together, before the world had grown so much larger than their grasp.