So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again.
The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.
What could possibly go wrong?
“’Now that Albie’s leaving, I want to feel this is the beginning of something new, not the beginning of the end.’ The beginning of the end. Was she still talking about me? She made me sound like some kind of apocalypse.”
“Albie was standing in the doorway, wrapped in the hotel dressing gown, demonstrating that unique ability he has to shower for twenty minutes and still look dirty.”
“… it was explained by a Dr. Yolanda Jimenez, in good, clear English, that I would be subject to an operation. Immediately I imagined the buzzing of surgical saws and my rib-cage being cracked open like a lobster shell, but the doctor explained that the procedure would be more localized than that. A tube would be inserted into my thigh under local anaesthetic, passing somewhat improbably all the way up into my heart, allowing the artery to be widened and stent to be left in its place. I pictured pipe-cleaners, dental floss, an unraveled wire coat hanger.”
“Clearly the key to having a long and successful marriage would be to have a non-lethal heart attack every three months or so for the next forty years. If I could pull off that trick, then we might just be all right.”
I laughed aloud several times while reading this smartly written, wickedly funny, and clever tome. The writing was crisp and intelligent, and hidden humor crackled on the pages. I think I wore an amused smile during the 85% of the reading, and while I frequently chuckled, I also felt my breath hitch in my throat and experienced an odd stinging in my eyes during several of his more poignant and heartbreaking revelations. There were many rather embarrassing remembrances that seldom put the main character in a good light, yet were more often than not, perfectly balanced by the horrendous behavior the other parties were also putting on display. Artfully written, unflinchingly insightful, totally enchanting, humorous yet painfully honest in describing his contentious, self-effacing, and unpleasant family encounters. While reading, I couldn’t help wanting the best for him, but also knowing that may not be the outcome he was striving for.