** Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg


After her home blows (literally), killing her family, a woman flees clear to the other side of the country, while her mother in law must stay and live with the judgment, however ill-placed, of her fellow townsmen.  Did You Ever Have a Family alternates between the two characters as they attempt to find some peace, and it’s well done, but I thought a little too sentimental and overly neat in its ending. I did enjoy the descriptions of the difficult relationships between the locals and the rich New Yorkers who have second homes there, as well as the wonderful portrait of the mother in law who sacrificed her son to her own desires. She is the most interesting character of the book.

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