Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Book Review: I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb

725 Pages on the Nook and I Enjoyed All of It!

This is a long extensive story but not the least bit boring. While the plot mostly is told from the perspective of Dominick Birdsey, there are many stories from past generations interwoven into this plot and it makes for a richer, more dynamic portrait of the man.

Dominick has a lot of issues. The story starts after his brother, Thomas, his identical twin, cuts off his own hand as a sacrifice to prevent the impending war as Sadaam and President Bush square off. Thomas has schizophrenia and thinks he has been chosen by G-d for a variety of tasks. Dominick is once again put into the role of savior, a position he has experienced throughout their lives as he tries to rescue Thomas from life inside an forensic state psychiatric hospital.

This is not the only challenge in Dominick's life. There is the ex wife he is still in love with and the girlfriend he does not love. There are also other matters that Dominick must attend to, including trying to find out who his true father is, tending to guilt, and trying to make a living.

The struggles that Dominick goes through make for an interesting story without any real melodrama. Dominick alternates between the present and the past, creating a backdrop that explains the path he has traveled and all the conflicting emotions about looking at his reflection and seeing himself in a different version. Dominick is the well one and his twin is the sick one.

Through this journey we learn that life is a balance and what we see on the outside is not always the whole story (really it never is). This book rings so true and while it tackles difficult subjects such as mental illness, abuse and other topics it never is patronizing or stereotypical.

I thoroughly enjoyed this read. One of the best this year!

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