Book Review: May We Be Forgiven by A M Homes

May-We-Be-ForgivenPB-649x999This book instantly captures you with the seriously high paced beginning. There is a Thanksgiving meal, Harold’s niece and nephew are glued to their phones, nobody is helping Jane, Harold’s sister-in-law, clean up, and Harold and Jane have a moment in the kitchen. Shortly after that, when George (Harold’s brother) and Jane’s kids are back at their boarding schools, George crashes his car causing a young boy to become orphaned. George goes mad and is locked up. Harold keeps Jane company while his own wife, Claire, is away on a business trip. Things then heat up between Harold and Jane, who end up getting it together. George somehow escapes, and comes home, finding his wife in bed with his brother. He goes even crazier and kills his wife with a lamp.

That synopsis may seem like a spoiler, but it seriously isn’t, this all happens within the first few pages. After reading this I was left thinking, what can happen now? What is there left that can really happen? But then, the story takes a complete turn. It turns into a novel about humanity, about human emotion and about treasuring life beyond the materials.

Harold becomes the guardian of his niece and nephew, Ashley and Nate, who teach him about being a real person. Throughout the novel a once lonely Harold picks up friendships, and soon his family grows wildly. I did like how during the beginning, when Harold was this kind of unfeeling statue of a person, there were aspects of the way it was written that were reminiscent in Bret Easton Ellis’ work – the whole sociopathic monologues anyway. There are so many elements of this novel to put into a single review, murder, paedophilia, sex addiction, prescription drug addiction, affairs and way way more.

In all honesty, though, this book hasn’t changed my life. It has kept me occupied, it has entertained me, but it hasn’t changed me like I would have expected. One thing I felt both enhanced the book and let it down was Nate’s young age. He is such an insightful, genuine and intelligent character, that it is just not realistic that he is only 12 years old.

Nonetheless, it is a good book, and you would have to read it yourself to truly understand it.


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