I sat down with this book, intent on reviewing an assortment of short stories that had a
beginning, middle, and an end or some sort of resolution. Instead, what fills the pages
here are the voices of the characters.|
All lived in dysfunctional
families, their contribution to society coming as taco makers, sheep farmers,
snob-wanna-be ballet teachers, mushroom pickers, and more.
When I first
met Phil Ames, in a story for which the book is named, he seemed to be going through what
a lot of unfaithful husbands experience -- loss of family. He traveled the roads looking
for work and happened upon a sheep farm. He secured a job there, befriended the farmer’s
daughter and was encouraged to date her by her father. The story ended with Phil asking
that his milk be served cold when offered a glass. The End. I tried to draw something
from this story and in failing to do so, moved on.
Enter Jim Wesley, a boy
with cancer who lived in a family torn apart by hatred. He sought the love of his
dysfunctional parents and siblings. I felt like rescuing him from the pages of his life
to give him the attention he needed to cope with his illness and the chemo that left him
so much the worse for wear. I was appalled that his parents couldn’t see beyond their
own needs, that his siblings couldn’t stop fighting long enough with themselves or him to
offer him what he craved: love, understanding, hope and encouragement.
more I read of this book, the more I came to realize that this is not a collection of
short stories, but more like a “blog” for the characters. It’s a venue for them to try
and explain what life is like for them in their destructive, dysfunctional
Read the book...meet the characters...you decide.