The Birthday Lunch

I read The Birthday Lunch by Joan Clark in 2 days. It’s not a very big book, but still, it had to be pretty captivating for me to finish it that fast. It’s a simple story. 58 year old Lily is killed by a truck on her birthday in the small town of Sussex New Brunswick. A place where everyone knows everyone, and things like this just didn’t happen. It could have been a very depressing story, but somehow it wasn’t. It takes a good writer to carry a story like this and not make it sad. Left to mourn her tragic, sudden passing are her husband Hal, children Matt and Claudia, and sister Laverne. As in most families there are tensions between family members, especially in this case where huge disagreements and bitter feelings often resonated between Hal and Laverne. And each member of the family mourns in a different way creating even more fisures in the family relationship. Clark explores these feelings and you get a real picture of family life at the worse of times. She is a fantastic writer. One of our own, and she somehow makes this an appealing read, not a depressing one.  I really liked this book. Try it, I’m sure you’ll feel the same.

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