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13 April 2013

'May We Be Forgiven' by A.M. Homes

Family, Forgiveness, Love... Everything!!! -- with a sense of humor

I tried to explain to my BPR what this book is about... he asked for it... Right... Then I got a look... I guess I made the mistake of telling what is happening in the book (a lot) and not what this book is about.  So now is my chance, but I feel like the two Pan Dimensional beings talking to Deep Thought... "Life, The Universe, Everything!!!!"  So this book is about Family, Forgiveness, Love... Everything!!!
Fortunately, A.M. Homes has a sense of humor.  I laughed and I cringed and then I laughed in disbelief and then I cringed.  But let me talk a bit about Harry, you know, the protagonist.

Harry is the sort of guy that...No, Harry is not the sort of guy that... because Harry does not initiate much.  Stuff happens to Harry.  What he feels about this stuff is relief that it was not worse.  But one moment of weakness, or more weakness than usual, puts Harry on a horrible path, his murderous, bully of a brother in jail, his lover dead and his wife bitter, and quickly gone.  Harry finds out who his friends are and who his friends are not; like the 'friend' who calls him to tell Harry that he will represent his wife in the divorce because since childhood he has waited for an opportunity to get back at him.  Harry also has to become a father, as his niece and nephew become his responsibility.  Okay, so things keep happening to Harry.  What makes this book so exciting is that Harry grows up.  No, he does not take life on with resolve and initiative.  Harry starts feeling different about the things that happen to him.  At first he felt confused, hurt, surprised.  He kept his head low, he waited for the next blow.  At some point Harry takes emotional responsibility for his actions and what initiative he does take is small and for the good.

This is so exciting because as a society we rarely take time to look at ourselves and own our mistakes, worse yet we have regrets but we do not seek forgiveness.  We make excuses like "I was beaten as a child", or "my boss does not like me", etc...  Emotionally, our inability to forgive and be forgiven closes doors on deeper relationships with our children, our friends and ourselves.  Harry takes a look at his own actions and emotions and decides what is his fault and what is not.  This is a huge relief, Harry is free.  So he slowly and in jumps and starts becomes a good father and a good friend.  He lets go of a great deal of his past and embraces the future but only one day at a time, that is, he learns to live in the now.  He wants absolution, forgiveness and is willing to work for that one good deed at a time, for those closest to him and for himself.  I love this book.

A.M. Homes 
ISBN: 9781847083234 

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