Tuesday 19 July 2016

Book ~ "We're All in This Together" (2016) Amy Jones

From Goodreads ~ A woman goes over a waterfall, a video goes viral, a family goes into meltdown - life is about to get a lot more complicated for the Parker family. 

Like all families, the Parkers of Thunder Bay have had their share of complications. But when matriarch Kate Parker miraculously survives plummeting over a waterfall in a barrel - a feat captured on a video that goes viral - it's Kate's family who tumbles into chaos under the spotlight. 

Her prodigal daughter returns to town. Her 16-year-old granddaughter gets caught up in an online relationship with a man she has never met. Her husband sifts through their marriage to search for what sent his wife over the falls. Her adopted son fears losing the only family he's ever known. Then there is Kate, who once made a life-changing choice and now fears her advancing dementia will rob her of memories from when she was most herself. 

Kakabeka Falls, ON
Kate, who has always been a free spirit but now suffering from advancing dementia, decides to go over Kakabeka Falls in barrel and ends up in a coma.  Over the next four days her family rallies around her at the hospital.

There are quite the cast of characters in this messed-up family:

  • Kate's 30-something daughter, Finn, has been living in Mississauga and heads home.  She had left Thunder Bay suddenly years ago and isn't happy with her life.  The rest of the family are still in Thunder Bay.  
  • Nicki, Finn's twin sister, is the mother of four kids (from three different fathers, none of whom she'd been married to, nor are they are in their lives) and is now married to Hamish (a bootlegger) and running a hair salon.  
  • Shawn, their adopted older brother, is married to Katriina (a realtor who is stressed out because she is trying to sell a house where a young girl recently hung herself) and running a pancake restaurant.  Shawn and Katriina have two sons and have been trying to have another baby which keeps resulting in miscarriages.
  • Walter, Kate's husband, runs a tour boat company and is torn between his love for Kate and Lake Superior.  
  • London, Nicki's oldest daughter, is a teenager and obsessed with sharks.  She is in love with the star of a shark show and they are online friends.

This was a wacky story and I liked it.  It is written in third person perspective from the various characters' points of view (ten in all).  As such, something that happened is retold a couple times from the different points of view.  Sometimes the story jumps back and forth from the present to the past but I found it was fairly obvious.  As a head's up, there is swearing, self-harm and adult activity.

I look forward to reading future stories by this author.

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