Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Review: Our Love Could Light the World

From Goodreads: You know the Dugans. They're that scrappy family that lives down the street. Their yard is overgrown, they don't pick up after their dog, their five children run free - leaving chaos in their wake - and the father hasn't earned a cent in years. The wife holds them together on her income alone. You wouldn't want them for neighbors - but from a distance, their quite entertaining.

Of course, alcohol is an issue. You can tell from the empty bottles lying under the bush out front. You can hardly blame the wife for leaving one day. Without her at the helm, the rest carry on the best they can. 

Their strong sense of family keeps them going. They help each other, and in some cases, rescue each other. They struggle for a better life. While they never follow the rules, or completely conquer adversity, they stare it down, meet their challenges, and earn some much needed respect. They might even make you proud.

Set in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, the twelve linked stories in Our Love Could Light The World depict a dysfunctional family that's messy and rude, cruel and kind, and loyal to the end.

My thoughts: This book is written in a different approach than usually undertaken, the book is actually several short stories woven together in a way that makes them a complete novel. I wasn't sure how I would feel about it, but Anne Leigh Parrish, brilliantly combines the two. I loved reading about this family, and having grown up (and still living) in a small town, felt that the characters were incredibly relate-able. Every small town has theses characters, this family, or knows someone who knows someone that are these characters personified.

I really enjoyed the short stories were stand alone stories, but also lent themselves to the character development of the major players in the novel.  The characters are flawed in ways that make you shake your fist at them but yet still find yourself rooting for their outcome. Their struggles are real. Parrish did a wonderful job with this novel. Its one that will suggest again and again. 

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book courtesy of TLC Book tours and the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.