I love a book that teaches me, I need to walk away a better person for having read it. At first, I didn’t think I’d be able to with this book. The first few chapters were a difficult read for me. It felt like chaos. Maybe that was intended, because the lives of the characters were chaotic. After I got further into the book I fell into a rhythm. This book demonstrated the saying “there’s more than one side to the story.” Each perspective was entirely believable. I had to rethink my theories more than once as I read through their lives.
I have so much admiration for Eleanor. I’ve heard “package deal” many times, and the meaning is obvious, but I never understood its depths. Which leads me to lesson #1: Embrace the bad just as strongly as the good.
The boys in this story are no different than most. Children tend to look at their parents through rose colored glasses. Neither the mom nor the dad had a life before they met each other. The lives of the parents revolve around the tightly knit family group. Even as the children grow to adulthood, they ignore the fact that their parents are people, too. Which leads to lesson #2: Everybody has skeletons, don’t ask a question you aren’t prepared to hear the answer to.
The Falkes family was not perfect. There are many examples sprinkled throughout the book. Each member of the family was shown in both a good and bad light. The family endured love, lies, adultery, friendship, religious bias, and loss. Lesson #3: A strong family can overcome any obstacle, no matter the difficulty.
My takeaways are Eleanor’s understanding, Rupert’s drive, Susanna’s patience, and the boys’ love of “Team Falkes.”
I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.