We’re All Damaged by Matthew Norman
3 words: wry, funny, open
This summer, our book club’s theme is Humor. And this is our lead-off book, and it was a home run.
Funny? Yes. In the things are really terrible but that makes them funnier way.
It’s set in the Midwest, so: bonus points. Living here in flyover country (don’t get me started), it always does my heart good to read a book with a solid Midwestern setting.
Andy had fled to New York after his wife left him for another man, but now his grandfather is dying, so Andy’s returned to Nebraska.
And his family’s hatched all kinds of (hilarious) new dysfunctions since he’s been gone, and he’s alienated from his best friend (aka his ex-wife’s brother), and basically his life is an unhappy mess.
Then a quirky young woman with a mysterious history pops onto the scene, and things get way more fun and way more complicated.
While his parents pursue their obsessive interests (his mom’s aiming to become a new talking head on Fox and he barely recognizes her, and his dad is preoccupied with an illegal motorcycle… and maybe something more), Andy bumbles around, trying to make things right.
Here we have a bunch of mostly good-hearted characters, all struggling in their own ways and crashing into one another and then trying to figure out the forgiveness thing.
It reminded me–in a good way–of This Is Where I Leave You. They both deal with loss and love with wry humor, and they both have the potential to make a person laugh out loud.
Give this book a whirl if you like… novels about returning home, post-divorce recovery, cringe-worthy gallows humor, quarter-life crisis, the Midwest
OK, if I’m looking for more books like this… funny about non-funny topics… Go!