• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (March 8, 2016)
From acclaimed Canadian novelist Billie Livingston comes this powerful U.S. debut that unfolds over a riveting dual narrative—an unforgettable story of ordinary lives rocked by hardship and scandal that follows in the tradition of Jennifer Haigh, A. Manette Ansay, and Jennifer Egan.
Ben wakes up in a hospital with a hole in his head he can’t explain. What he can remember he’d rather forget. Like how he’d spent nights as a limo driver for the wealthy and debauched . . . how he and his wife, Maggie, drifted apart in the wake of an unspeakable tragedy . . . how his little brother, Cola, got in over his head with loan sharks circling.
Maggie is alone. Again. With bills to pay and Ben in a psych ward, she must return to work. But who would hire her in the state she’s in? And just as Maggie turns to her brother, Francis, the Internet explodes with a video of his latest escapade. The headline? Drunk Priest Propositions Cops.
Francis is an unlikely priest with a drinking problem and little interest in celibacy. A third DUI, a looming court date. . . .When Maggie takes him in, he knows he may be down to his last chance. And his best shot at healing might lay in helping Maggie and Ben reconnect—against all odds.
“The poignant story of broken people trying desperately to be whole, lost somewhere between a prayer and a wish. Raw and heartfelt. Remarkable.”—Will Ferguson, Giller Prize-winning author of 419
Even though they're two different people who've grown up in two different households, there are a few things that mirror each other in Ben and Maggie's lives. They each have a troubled sibling, one that causes problems, and sometimes drag them down with them. They're not bad people, just trying to understand their place, but in a heated time where two people are grieving their baby, it's where these people can either hinder or help.
It was heartbreaking, but also rewarding to see how they went through everything any normal person would seek when trying to find themselves again. They dabble in faith, humanity, insanity, and court death just to find out where they now fit. As a family, they knew where they stood, things were solid in their world, but as soon as Frankie died, they had to hit a restart button, which had a lot of baggage to carry.
I thought the writing was really smooth, and the characters well rounded. Those that they met only added to the story, and created a whole new perspective for both the reader and the characters.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Find out more about Billie at her website and connect with her on Twitter.