A complicated web of characters is fractured when tragedy turns life upside-down, and a drug-addled teenager, Silas, holds information which could clear murky waters. Narrated by eleven alternating voices, this tale gradually spins into focus in small town Wells, Connecticut, where Lolly and Will's wedding was to have happened. The intricacies of the beginnnings, the misunderstandings and the missteps of these distinct people span the country, all the way to a motel in Moclips, Washington. When truths surface in this character-centered structure, one realizes that there may be ground on which to step forward, to go on living!
— From Jane
This quiet, stunning debut novel by agent turned writer Bill Clegg is one of the best books of the year. Set in the aftermath of unimaginable tragedy, the novel explores how people find the ability to go on. June, whose daughter, daughter's fiancee, boyfriend, and ex-husband all perish, takes off, driving aimlessly west, ending up in a motel on the Washington coast. Her boyfriend's mother, the town outcast, drifts into the clutches of a shady financial schemer. Told in simple, beautiful prose, this is an unforgettable story.
— From Michael
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD, MAN BOOKER PRIZE, PEN/ROBERT W. BINGHAM PRIZE, AND ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE - AN ALA NOTABLE BOOK - Library Journal - Booklist - NPR - Kirkus Reviews - Guardian - St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Literary Hub - Powell's - Indie Next List Hailed as "masterly" by The New York Times Book Review, "a brilliantly constructed debut set in the aftermath of catastrophic loss" (2015 Man Booker Prize Judges).
The stunning debut novel from bestselling author Bill Clegg is a magnificently powerful story about a circle of people who find solace in the least likely of places as they cope with a horrific tragedy.
On the eve of her daughter's wedding, June Reid's life is upended when a shocking disaster takes the lives of her daughter, her daughter's fianc , her ex-husband, and her boyfriend, Luke--her entire family, all gone in a moment. June is the only survivor.
Alone and directionless, June drives across the country, away from her small Connecticut town. In her wake, a community emerges, weaving a beautiful and surprising web of connections through shared heartbreak.
From the couple running a motel on the Pacific Ocean where June eventually settles into a quiet half-life, to the wedding's caterer whose bill has been forgotten, to Luke's mother, the shattered outcast of the town--everyone touched by the tragedy is changed as truths about their near and far histories finally come to light.
Elegant and heartrending, and one of the most accomplished fiction debuts of the year, Did You Ever Have a Family
is an absorbing, unforgettable tale that reveals humanity at its best through forgiveness and hope. At its core is a celebration of family--the ones we are born with and the ones we create.