What represents proof of life more than the stuff we all leave everywhere? Bits of change, keys, hair ties, tubes of chap stick, a cup with the last dregs of coffee? We are are a species that values things. I don’t mean high-profile, flashy items, but rather the small creature comforts that keep us at ease more or less throughout the day.
These things are us in a nutshell. They are the pair of shoes left in the hallway, the charging cord left dangling, and a book left open with the pages fluttering. We just left doing something, are about to return, about to wake up, or close our eyes to sleep. In essence, this is family life. It doesn’t matter if you are a family of one or ten-we all take part in leaving some debris in our wake that shows we were there.
Domestic dramas are my favorite genre. I like being the window-watcher to everyday life. Families that are like the people next door or maybe quite different, are the ones I enjoy reading about. I mentioned in another post that I do not care for self-help type books. I gain more help and insight from reading about real-life type stories and people than I do from someone claiming to have the answers to whatever problem I hypothetically might be seeking out. I like seeing how characters react in different situations. It might be fiction, but they aren’t acting. Fiction authors often write from what they know and it’s those truths which come out so much more genuine than those presented in the self-help section.
A Nearly Normal Family by M. T. Edvardsson was my June #BookoftheMonth selection. The blue box sat on my counter ( my clutter-y debris ) because I was reading so many books when it arrived that I didn’t want to be tempted by yet another book. I received an email yesterday that said my July book (which I am also very excited for- I’ll keep you wondering for the moment) was on its way so I figured it was time to open it. I flipped it open and dang it, I couldn’t. put. it. down.
Seriously, it’s such a good thing my addiction is to books and not heroin or some other hideous substance.
Anyway this book follows a family, which consists of a lawyer mother, pastor father, and their recently-turned eighteen-year-old daughter, Stella. Stella stands accused of the brutal murder of a man almost fifteen years older. She is an ordinary teenager from a great family, so what reason does she have to even really know this man, let alone kill him? Her parents “find their moral compasses tested as they defend their daughter while struggling to understand why she is a suspect. How well do you know your children? And how far would you go to protect them (from the book flap)?”
This book makes me think of two books that I have read that have really stuck with me. Defending Jacob by William Landay and We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (& one of my all-time favorite books). Many differences but all beg the question of “how far would you go” when it comes to your child?
If that doesn’t sound like a good family drama to you, then you probably don’t like these types of stories.
Maybe try the self-help section? Ha-ha, just kidding, that would be torturous 🙂
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.”
– George R.R. Martin