thewaythefamily_kimball.jpg The depressing – and a trifle disappointing – tale of an American family plunged into grief and squalor as the youngest son passes away because of insufficient care – both at home and at the hospital. As if to escape destiny or to seek purification, the grief-stricken family set out on an epic, near-picaresque odyssey through a string of dreary American towns. With the corpse of the infant hidden in the trunk as a cohesive shared secret, they gradually scatter their identiy and get rid of their past as they sell their belongings along the way. The tragic mourning journey is seen through the clueless, distorted and distorting eyes of the two remaining siblings, who struggle with the atrocious truth. The obsessive two-voice narration is haunting and finely conveys the children's confusion between puerile denial and staunch acceptance of the facts. All in all, this book lacks depth and inspiration and tends to annoy the reader with its feeble, not-quite-admitted references to Faulkner's masterly As I Lay Dying.

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