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Monday, January 13, 2014

Our Love Could Light The World, Anne Leigh Parrish ~ book review

* I was provided a copy of this book by  TLC Book Tours to facilitate my review. 
All expressed opinions are completely my own. *



I started reading this book and was intrigued by the format immediately. When I realized it was a book of short stories I thought that would be a change for me. 

And then I finished the first story, moved on into the second and stopped myself. Wait a minute. These stories are about the same people. This is, essentially, a novel broken up into short stories instead of the standard "chapter" format. Many books could qualify for a similar labeling, but this one flat out says it. My guess is that the author wrote them separately and joined them together, but I don't truly know. 

Still interested? You should be. 

We start off meeting the Dugans. As the back cover describes them, they're that scrappy family that lives down the street. 

Do you know them? I honestly didn't. Parrish assumes I did, but I'm kind of glad I didn't. I prefer her take and her words and creating their images in my mind instead of using a family I do know to fill in their slots. 

Let's meet them. 

The mother. Struggling to hold it together. Keep the family on track. Working, supporting, mothering. Never quite enough in her own eyes. 

The father. A hot mess. Heavy drinker. Unemployed. Most of the time, anyway. Not enough. For himself, or his wife. Possibly for his family, either. 

Angie. The eldest. Angie is grown before her time. Acting as mom a lot. Parenting her younger siblings and hating every second of it. Withdrawn. Suffering so much teen angst. 

There are other children. Other characters. I could list them all but that would take away from the read. You need to meet them as they arrive, as they are. You'll find them each interesting in their own way, and yet, easily ignorable as the crux of the family lays with the parents. And Angie. 

This family suffers heartbreak, pain, love, loss and more, all before our very eyes. Parrish has created a group of characters that I found I couldn't get enough of, and yet, at the same time, each time I flinched at a scenario she created for them I found myself saying - okay, let's move on then, shall we? -  it's hard to do that. Come up with people we *might* love, certainly love to dislike, and then find ourselves feeling for again as they come back around. 

These kids might be messed up. They might be strange and weird and annoying. And they might be know-it-alls or slackers or a little bit of both. But the way they make up the Dugan family, the way the author establishes the characters and connections, they're all a part of the required reading. 

If you can't tell by now, I've enjoyed this book. It was a fairly easy read, despite some of the intense aspects of the Dugan family. Their lives intertwine, separate, come back together - a typical not-so-typical-family. Worth a look if you're up for it. As for me, I've already added the author's other book to my Goodreads to-read shelf! Feel free to head on over there and see if we have similar interests, or check out a few of my must read choices for 2014 and let me know if you've read any.

If you're looking for a copy of this book for yourself, you can grab one on Amazon today: Our Love Could Light The World.



* I was provided a copy of this book by TLC Book Tours to facilitate my review. 
All expressed opinions are completely my own. This post contains affiliate links. *

2 comments:

Shelley Zurek -- Still Blonde after all these YEARS said...

The book does sound quite interesting. I like the fact I can grab it and read any one story or the whole collection. Thanks for the thoughtful review.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'm a big fan of connected short stories so this one is already on my TBR list. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Thanks for being on the tour.