Friday, February 12, 2016

I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb

With his stunning debut novel, She's Come Undone, Wally Lamb won the adulation of critics and readers with his mesmerizing tale of one woman's painful yet triumphant journey of self-discovery. Now, this brilliantly talented writer returns with I Know This Much Is True, a heartbreaking and poignant multigenerational saga of the reproductive bonds of destruction and the powerful force of forgiveness. A masterpiece that breathtakingly tells a story of alienation and connection, power and abuse, devastation and renewal—this novel is a contemporary retelling of an ancient Hindu myth. A proud king must confront his demons to achieve salvation. Change yourself, the myth instructs, and you will inhabit a renovated world

This is mainly the story of twin brothers, one who is in and out of institutions due to mental illness, and one who feels he must always look after him and protect him as best he can.
I very much enjoyed the first part of the book which kind of bounced back and forth between the here and now, and flash backs to when the boys were growing up with an abusive step father and a mom who was basically afraid of her own shadow, Towards the middle and into the last half when much of the book was taken over by memoirs written by the long dead grandfather my enjoyment began to wane a bit. I also would have liked less psycho babble from the drawn out visits with the psychiatrist who was constantly asking for things (Americanisms ) to be explained. Although some of the secrets revealed in the grandfather's memoirs were pertinent to the story, I really feel this story could have been better told in 700 or so pages instead of needlessly dragged out into 900.
I would rate it 4 of 5 stars.

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