Plot or Premise
A young boy loses his mother, sister and brother to an apparent killing spree of his father. Years later, an author tracks down the boy, now a man with a wife and son, and asks him to remember the details of their last few months together.
What I Liked
The basic plot is somewhat interesting in that it deals with the young boy’s impressions of life, now recolored and filtered through the eyes of an adult, and the sudden realizations of what he actually saw and heard of adult conversations which made no sense at the time, but are all too clear now. A reinterpretation of history, in a sense, that allows the context to show more clearly than a simple linear telling might have done.
What I Didn’t Like
Two aspects stand out as negative factors. First, there is the telling of the story. At the beginning, it seems far too disjointed, and the continuous references to the future to build suspense actually fall flat. Secondly, there is a sense of detachment throughout the story, almost a clinical feel that keeps you removed from the main character and limits the novel to simply “telling” the story rather than having the reader “live” it through the eyes and actions of the characters. The fact that the ending is all too predictable is not necessarily a negative factor in this story, as it doesn’t detract from an interesting read into the psyche of a slowly disintegrating family, and there are twists at the end that show the dangers of reinterpreting history from a cracked lens. Not everything happens the way the little grey cells remember, nor the way reality would tend to dictate.