Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review - May We Be Forgiven by: A.M. Homes

Title: May We Be Forgiven
Author: A.M. Homes
Publisher: Granta
Pages: 480
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal purchase
Awards: 2013 Women's Prize For Fiction

Harry is a Richard Nixon scholar who leads a quiet, regular life; his brother George is a high-flying TV producer, with a murderous temper. They have been uneasy rivals since childhood. Then one day George's loses control so extravagantly that he precipitates Harry into an entirely new life. In May We Be Forgiven, Homes gives us a darkly comic look at 21st-century domestic life — at individual lives spiraling out of control, bound together by family and history. The cast of characters experience adultery, accidents, divorce, and death. But it is also a savage and dizzyingly inventive satire on contemporary America, whose dark heart Homes penetrates like no other writer — the strange jargons of its language, its passive aggressive institutions, its inhabitants' desperate craving for intimacy and their pushing it away with litigation, technology, paranoia. At the novel's heart are the spaces in between, where the modern family comes together to re-form itself. 

May We Be Forgiven explores contemporary orphans losing and finding themselves anew; and it speaks above all to the power of personal transformation — simultaneously terrifying and inspiring.

My thoughts:

I checked on GoodReads and realized that I read this book between March 30 and April 3. Normally, I try to write my reviews write away, or at least take notes on what I want to say, but when it comes to authors I’m in love with, I might be left speechless. Even though it’s been about 4 months since I’ve read this book, the events, feelings and the words I loved in it are still very much fresh in my mind. I’m still not sure what I will say, but let’s start…

First of all, I’ll admit that in the beginning the subject of the book felt like it was very foreign to me. Why? Because one of the main characters, Harry, is a Richard Nixon scholar; he teaches Nixon at a university. Of course, everyone outside  the US knows Nixon, especially due to the Watergate Scandal… But the details? Having never studied American history, details I do not have. Afterwards, this didn’t bother me as much because just like any other Homes novel, May We Be Forgiven also has human relations, family, love, worry, excitement and fear. Just like she does most of the time, in this book as well Homes has chosen to tell the story using a male voice, Harry’s.
Especially for those who like reading award-winning books, let me say this: this year A.M. Homes won the Women's Prize for Fiction with May We Be Forgiven. In the interview she gave to The Guardian, she's asked what awaits readers who've already read the rest of her books. Vintage Homes or a brand new Homes? She says in May We Be Forgiven, she goes back to her first novel, Jack, which is something I was thinking while reading, but couldn't be sure since I still have Homes books that I'm saving for a rainy day.

You can watch the interview here.

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