Spanning four decades, from 1968 onwards, this is the story of a fabulous but flawed family and the slew of ordinary and extraordinary incidents that shape their everyday lives. It is a story about childhood and growing up, loss of innocence, eccentricity, familial ties and friendships, love and life. Stripped down to its bare bones, it's about the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.
I love this book! This is my favourite of 2011 so far, by far. I feel like Elly has become a close friend over the course of the novel and I really didn't want to finish the book because it means that the friendship has moved on. This, I think is one of the main ideas that moves through the book. The idea that you can be close friends with someone for a period of time and then it moves on. You can come back to friendships and pick up
from where you left off... or work through the pain of losing the friend for a while.
I missed her. I would always miss her. I often wondered how it wouldIt also examines the close relationship between Elly and her brother and how they knew each others secrets. That even though friends come and go, family is always there and how noone knows all your secrets like family.
have been if we could have experienced the coming years together.
What would have been different? could I have changed what happened to
her? We were the guardians of a secret world; a lonely world without
the other. For years i would flounder without her. (p162)
You see, you were the only person who knew everything.The book covers a lot of major events of the 70's, 90s and 2000's. Most of them I don't remember where I was or what I was doing. The main exception being 9/11 when I was somewhere between Heathrow and my cousin's apartment in Dublin when the North Tower came down, and watching in a haze of jet lag as the 2nd tower came down. When I read her description of her morning in London, I remembered that I was in London too, although just passing through. I think this part was the most moving of the whole book. I'm not
Because you were there. And you were my witness. And you
made sense of the fed-up mess I become every now and then. And I
could at least look at you and think, at least he knows why I am the
way I am. There were reasons... (p308)
going to go into details because I don't want to spoil your reading experience of it.