The Gathering , by Anne Enright
Bleak, grim , dysfunctional family saga , with doses of love, hate, loss, alcoholism, imagination, abuse, dissonance..
Veronica - the protagonist narrator delves into past and imagination of past to understand why her near-twin brother Liam committed suicide , why he had a drifters life as opposed to her almost respectable life ..
did the suspected abuse when they were living with their grandmother which pushed him into the 'box' .. did it happen to her too ? Who is to blame ? Her constantly pregnant and vague mother or her randomly respectable father or her grandmother who does not believes in the past..and all this has affected the whole clan - about 9 siblings all with their share of eccentricity or traits , blamed if they are normal and doomed if they are not..
The prose is vague and sparse and facts are revealed unexpectedly and in unexpected ways .. you could miss something if you didn't pay attention...and it is a bit difficult to pay attention..the flitting from present to past to imagination is relentless .. but still there is something gripping about the story which keeps you hooked..
Rating - 6 .5 /10
"People do not change, they are merely revealed" — Anne Enright