Erin's Reviews > Did You Ever Have a Family

Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg
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The tragic circumstances surrounding the story- of a family the night before a wedding that are killed in a house fire, was something which a distant relative of mine experienced. I always recall that people who had gone through their own tragedies would often ask her, "How did you live after that? Her response right up until she passed on was always "One day at a time."

Bill Clegg uses several characters to explore the toll a tragedy can have on many different people. At one point, chapter after chapter appeared to be an introduction of a new character and I was getting a bit restless, concerned that Mr. Clegg was going to leave me wondering about resolution. Future readers, don't worry about that because we do get a chance to return to them.

We are presented with the viewpoints of the mothers, fathers, the employee, the bystanders etc. I'm grateful for those various types of people who are all grieving differently. Or in the case of the bystanders, how they discuss the grieving and the lives of the deceased. As much as I don't believe in a hierarchy of grief, I did feel that Lydia was the character that I felt the most empathy for. Whatever the case might be(and I've been there) there's probably nothing worse than being connected to the person that EVERYONE in your town believes bears sole responsibility for the tragedy. Of course, they happen to be deceased and those left behind have to deal with the rumours, the whispers, the looks, and avoiding eye contact. On the other hand, I really struggled to connect with the character of June. So much of the narrative swirls around her coping/lack of coping and right until the end she seemed so far away from understanding. It makes me wonder if perhaps Bill Clegg had difficulty writing her character.

Given the emotional content that a story like this could be, I felt that less narrators would have increased my own personal response to the story. Frankly, I am left feeling nothing.
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Reading Progress

March 14, 2017 – Started Reading
March 14, 2017 – Finished Reading
March 15, 2017 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister Really nice review, Erin!


Dorie  - Traveling Sister :) Nice honest review. I actually liked this one but everyone reacts differently, that's what makes this site interesting. I like to get other people's viewpoints :)


James Oh! I'm sorry this didn't come across as strong for you. I liked it a lot... Lydia and I connected. I can see where it could have been stronger in some areas tho.


Erin Kristin (KC) wrote: "Really nice review, Erin!"

Thanks!


Erin Dorie wrote: "Nice honest review. I actually liked this one but everyone reacts differently, that's what makes this site interesting. I like to get other people's viewpoints :)"


Thanks, Dorie! You're absolutely right, different viewpoints are very important. I "liked" the book, but I didn't "love" it!


Erin James wrote: "Oh! I'm sorry this didn't come across as strong for you. I liked it a lot... Lydia and I connected. I can see where it could have been stronger in some areas tho."

Hi James! I think sometimes the way we feel personally( mood and thoughts) during reading influence our overall enjoyment. Lydia's sections of the book were very well done.


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