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Friday, January 27, 2017

The Best of Families by Harry Groome

Fran was young, naive and innocent. Making someone pregnant at 18 did not fall into his scheme of things though he did love her very much. Against many odds he decides to marry and then he enlists for Vietnam leaving a wife behind, leaving her with his parents who have nothing in common with her and a mother who does not hesitate to show her antagonism known. Fran in his naivety thinks they will look after her but they don't. His father is spineless against the will of his wife and things spiral out of control.

Returning badly wounded, he finds his wife has disappeared and no amount of trying to track her down or talk to her works.  Fran also is dispirited but he also seems to take the path of least resistance though he does try initially to find out what happened to his wife and child.

Fast forward many years and he has now married but there are secrets in his second marriage as well.
It does not augur well for the future with so many shadows and secrets in their lives. How they cope with an uncertain future, surprising comebacks and how Fran and his second wife have to deal with their own marriage and its frailties before they confront the future.

Mainly I felt sad for Fran for the futility of all he lost, despite being a brave, honest man who always tried to do the correct thing. The story did not draw me in as much as it should have mainly because of the negativity that prevailed.

This book was sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of The Connelly Press.


  1. I have difficulty enjoying books when the characters have a lot of negativity. I can't relate well to that.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Hmmm I find this one pretty compelling. I'm usually drawn to negative characters (I wonder what Freud would have to say about that?).