This is like what you’d call Literary Fiction. It is the story of a family, or families rather, a brother and sister, the sister is married to the brother of a couple of other brothers, and parents and it all gets just a teeny bit confusing if you are not paying close attention.
And it is told with each chapter being the point of view of a different character. It opens with Bobby, and is written in first person. Which is pretty interesting as Bobby is in a coma, and has been for a while, moving from hospital to nursing home and back to hospital with pneumonia. His brother Tom, is married to the sister of Michael, who is gay and in a long term relationship with Josh, who is the brother of ……
OK, you get the picture. The theme of interconnectedness, family, and what that all means and what we do with our emotional baggage. But here’s the deal — Bobby talks to us in first person, although he cannot talk, being in a coma. The others we learn about through third person narratives. This serves to emphasize the distance between the family and Bobby, the disconnect, because there can be no communication with him. And yet Bobby hears the visitors and nurses who do talk to him, and talks back to them in his head. But then, how much are the rest of the family talking to each other?
Bobby, the coma guy, is a writer, and parts of his chapters contain the beginnings of a story he is writing in his head. What is the point of this embedded story? I will leave that up to you to decide.
His brother Tom’s young daughter, 4 years old, is full of talk, advice, questions, statements, observations, and when we close the pages of the book, we come to realize that she is the only one openly communicating what is going on in her head.
The ending is unexpected. But then, aren’t most endings in life unexpected?
Tell the people you love that you love them. It might be your last chance to do so. Loving people is a magic of an extraordinary kind.