Monday, August 9, 2010

I Know This Much Is True | Wally Lamb

This book was my introduction to Lamb’s novels. And I really loved it. He’s a great storyteller with believable characters who are quirky and live impossible lives.
This is the story of Dominick Birdsey and his schizophrenic twin brother Thomas. His life is a constant search for his identity and his place in a family dominated by his step-father Ray. Dominick finds and reads his Sicilian grandfather’s memoir and discovers his family’s roots and its darkest secrets.

There is a lot going on with the characters. Thomas is unstable though on medication and Dominick takes it upon himself to see him through hospitalisations and the horror of self-mutilation. Dominick's only child dies of SIDS and his lover's child ends up with HIV.
Lamb's skill as a storyteller is putting all these characters on the page and making the story plausible. Through larger-than-life people he lets us explore different outcomes from the ones we might search for in real life.

The reason I like reading this book is the mixture of characters and their exploration of themes we can all relate to like our desire to belong, being alone, wanting to be loved and accepted. Through their lives we can come to appreciate a different perspective on our own introspection. This is a very satisfying read.

It’s also worth reading Lamb’s other novels. "The Hour I First Believed", "She's Come Undone", "I'll Fly Away"

The Hour I First Believed
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