Thursday, June 4, 2009

Apologize, Apologize!-Elizabeth Kelly

What can you truly say about the life of Collie Flanagan? Mindboggling comes to mind...

Collie was born into a very affluent family living in Martha's Vinyard. His grandfather, Peregrin Lowell (aka "The Falcon"), is a widowed newspaper mogul with a very stern hand and a ritualistic life style, which his household servants have had to "endure" to say the least.

His mother and father live in a smaller home on the same property as the grandfather. Essentric is not the word for this brood. Collie's father married his mother, Peregrine's daughter, as a way of escaping any means of financial responsibility. Living with them is his mother's brother, Uncle Tom, who also doesn't work and has an uncanny way of condescending to Collie because of his own inadequecies. Collie also has a brother named Bingo, who is the family favorite. The mother has an obsession with dogs and that is how the boys got their names.

Collie's mom lives in a world of delusion, contradicting everything she says by her actions. She likes to think of herself as a righteous liberal fighting for "the causes."

His father and Uncle Tom drown their inadequecies in a literal "drunk fest" most of the time, but still maintain a degree of superiority and deliberate degredation.

Collie's story is complicated to say the least. Lost in the shadows of his brother, he can't seem to get solid footing and no encouragement from his family.

There is a surprising twist in the middle of this book that seriously puts the "A" in angst for Collie.

Elizabeth Kelly's debut novel might possibly be the best book I've read in the last five years. Her use of the English language is stunning and superb. I read in a review of this book that is made "Holden Caulfiedl look like he was a kindergartener." Nothing could be more true. This is an absolutely brililant novel that I will never forget and I thank Elizabeth for writing it. There is much to be learned from what I hope will become a "masterpiece."