This book of dark secrets opens with a blaze. On the morning of her daughter's wedding, June Reid's house goes up in flames, destroying her entire family - her present, her past and her future. Fleeing from the carnage, stricken and alone, June finds herself in a motel room by the ocean, hundreds of miles from her Connecticut home, held captive by memories and the mistakes she has made with her only child, Lolly, and her partner, Luke. In the turbulence of grief and gossip left in June's wake we slowly make sense of the unimaginable. The novel is a gathering of voices, and each testimony has a new revelation about what led to the catastrophe - Luke's alienated mother Lydia, the watchful motel owners, their cleaner Cissy, the teenage pothead who lives nearby - everyone touched by the tragedy finds themselves caught in the undertow, as their secret histories finally come to light. Lit by the clarity of understanding that true sadness brings, Did You Ever Have a Family is an elegant, unforgettable story that reveals humanity at its worst and best, through loss and love, fracture and forgiveness. At the book's heart is the idea of family - the ones we are born with and the ones we create - and the desire, in the face of everything, to go on living.
"Full of small-town secrets and whispers, Bill Clegg has woven a richly textured tale of loss and healing. This is a deeply optimistic book about the power of human sympathy to pull us from the wreckage of our fate." Anne Enright, winner of the Man Booker Prize
Bill Clegg arbeitet als Literaturagent in New York.