I found May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes at a library book sale. I was drawn in by the cover but abided by my recently-set rule of reading the first few pages before purchasing a book I've never heard of. I was instantly drawn in.
May We Be Forgiven is about consequences and family dynamics. Harold has always known his brother George has a vicious temper. But everything changes when George commits an act so violent that the lives of Harold, George, their wives, and George's kids will never be the same. Harold suddenly finds himself the caretaker of his brother's children as both he and the kids figure out how to navigate through their new lives.
This is a story about both the families we're born with and the ones we choose. As Harold (Harry) navigates an entirely new world of responsibilities, we watch as he attempts to cope through meaningless sex, his unwritten novel about President Nixon, and nudist laser tag.
As the novel progresses, it's hard not to root for Harry as we see him grow into someone who invests himself so deeply into the unlikely cast of characters who come to be his family; maturing and finding his place while remaining flawed and human.
“What I have learned this year is that the job of a parent is to help the child become the person he or she already is.”
May We Be Forgiven is comical while remaining tender and sincere. It's a book about the mistakes we make and the eternal possibility for hope to blossom from a place of despair.