Bill Clegg is an editor by trade, which I think gives him a leg up when it comes to writing a novel. Several years ago I read Did You Ever Have a Family – and loved it – so when I had the opportunity to read the ARC of his latest, I jumped at it. And I wasn’t disappointed. Once again, Clegg demonstrates a deft ability to create unusual but believable characters and use them to render poignant insights about what brings us together and keeps us apart.
Following several different story lines that eventually come together, Clegg brings to light the significant ramifications of what seemed at the time to be inconsequential decisions in the past.
Dana, burdened by the contents of a briefcase, embarks to set the record straight after decades of estrangement from her teenage best friend. She thinks Jackie needs to know what really happened between them, but is Dana’s truth even accurate?
Lupita has been running for years, thinking she’s done the best she can in an impossible situation. With the past now calling, what responsibility does she have to spill the secrets that seem to be catching up?
At 41, Hap can’t seem to leave his father’s death-bed even if it means missing out on his newborn daughter’s first hours. How can a man that he hardly knows have such a pull on him?
What most of these characters don’t know about their histories has important implications for how they move into the future. Complicated by class and race, the stories of Dana, Jackie, Lupita and Hap delve into issues our country is still struggling with today. Clegg uses insight honed by years of reading manuscripts to bring fresh insight to friendships and family, how to make amends, and when to just let go.
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