Saturday, September 4, 2010

Without a Backward Glance

Read September 2010

My Rating: 5/5

"On a stifling Christmas Eve in 1967 the lives of the McDonald children - Deborah, Robert, James, and Meredith - changed forever. Their mother Rosemarie, told them she was running out to buy some lights for the tree. She never came back. The children were left with their father, and a gnawing question: Why had their mother abandoned them?

Over the years, the four siblings have become practiced in concealing their pain, remaining close into adulthood, and forming their own families. But long closed wounds are reopened when a chance encounter brings James face to face with Rosemarie after nearly 40 years. Secrets that have each sibling has locked away come to light as they struggle to come to terms with their mothers reappearance, while at the same time their beloved father is progressing into dementia. Veitch's family portrait reveals the joys and sorrows the complexity and ambiguity of family life, and poignantly probes what it means to love and what is means to leave."

Brianna's Review: Wow.... where to start. This again was another book that I bought for only $4.99. From the first page I was so interested in this novel, and stayed interested for the entire thing, reading at every chance I possibly could. The story and the characters, my goodness she did an amazing job at making you understand them and what they are going through. A mother of four children and an amazing husband decides to abandoned her family with no explanation or warning, and on Christmas Eve of all nights. From the beginning of the novel I disliked her, she had an amazing life and yet was unhappy. The author wrote out some of the mothers thoughts, and they were terrible. She genuinely seemed like she hated her children and her husband. So she ups and leaves. The oldest daughter, Deborah is left in the mother role, and the dad has totally shut Rosemary out of their life. Each child has their own characteristic, most likely resulting from the impact of their mother abandoning them at such an early age. One of the children an alcoholic, one with OCD, one an organization and control freak, and one incapable of love. During the novel they meet up with their mother, and their problems slowly are going away or becoming better. This novel reminds me a little of Jodi Picoult as you are really thinking of everyones feelings. I mean I understand if you are unhappy, then leave and make yourself happy, but to just abandon your children? Who does that? And then as the children reconnect with her, you wonder what in the world would make them want to? and to accept her back so quickly? The mother was selfish, and even at the end when her thoughts were still being written out, she still seemed mean (mean.. I know, such a wonderful word to use :) ) This novel just has so much going on, I mean your trying to follow what is going on with each of the children separately, as well as together, with their mother, and ofcourse the beloved Alex, their father with progressing dementia (whom I just loved and felt sadly for.) Its interesting to see how each of the family members react together as well. I just loved loved loved this book! I very much would recommend this to everyone. The only question that I have, and would love for someone to explain to me - WHAT WAS UP WITH THE LAST PARAGRAPH? The entire book was amazing and I was thinking how great it was going to end, and then it just ends so randomly?? I still recommend people to read it, but my goodness I'm left confused with why she put that part in. Definitely a great discussion book as well.

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