The focal point of Clegg’s novel is an accident that kills three people the night before a family wedding. The plot is explained in alternating chapters narrated by survivors of the explosion. Ironically, these characters led sad, lonesome lives well before that fateful night. The wedding was to have taken place on the east coast, but much of what happens after the explosion takes place on the western edge of Washington state.
Did You Ever Have a Family? has been long-listed for several well-known book awards and given accolades galore, but I must confess, it just didn’t grab me. The aftermath of the kitchen accident did not effect me, partly because the characters were one dimensional. For that reason, I could never get into their heads or feel their pain.