by Matthew Thomas
Simon and Schuster
Buy from Indigo
Description: Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed.
When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit. They marry, and Eileen quickly discovers Ed doesn’t aspire to the same, ever bigger, stakes in the American Dream.
Eileen encourages her husband to want more: a better job, better friends, a better house, but as years pass it becomes clear that his growing reluctance is part of a deeper psychological shift. An inescapable darkness enters their lives, and Eileen and Ed and their son Connell try desperately to hold together a semblance of the reality they have known, and to preserve, against long odds, an idea they have cherished of the future.
Through the Learys, novelist Matthew Thomas charts the story of the American Century, particularly the promise of domestic bliss and economic prosperity that captured hearts and minds after WWII. The result is a riveting and affecting work of art; one that reminds us that life is more than a tally of victories and defeats, that we live to love and be loved, and that we should tell each other so before the moment slips away.
The Good Stuff
- Beautifully written. Author definitely has talent
- Obviously the author has some experience with those affected by Alzheimers and gives the reader some insight in how it affects those with the disease and their family and friends
- Incredible character development. You can tell he obviously took the time to give each and every character a unique voice
- I thoroughly enjoyed the early part of the story that dealt with Eileen and her parents
- Raw and honest - plenty of damaged characters
- Opening chapter intrigued me
The Not so Good Stuff
- Honestly I just felt no connection to any of the characters
- Not a badly written book in any way, just not my type of story, it left me feeling depressed
- Could have used some editing in terms of length - could have been a tighter more intriguing story with some scenes left out
- Didn't like the racist overtones - yes it gave some more insight into Eileen's character, but in the long run felt forced and slightly disturbing
"There were no adults present, so they were exposed to each other without buffering - boys used to being at the top of their class, each now merely one of many."
"Ed laughed and asked the doctor if he was married. The doctor nodded.
"Then it won't surprise you to hear that my wife has been calling the shots as long as we've been married," Ed said, and the Doctor chuckled in husbandly sympathy."
"Watch that low-class language," she snarled, and then she softened her tone. "Oh, hell, 'shit' is right."
I received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review - sorry for the delay guys - I got kids, they come first ; )