I recently reviewed another Adam Haslett book Union Atlantic and I’ve just finished his more recent and newly published, Imagine Me Gone.
This has been without question the best book I have read this year. It centres on a family, John, Margaret, Michael, Celia, and Alec and how they are affected and deal with anxiety and depression. Now that is bound to put off some people who will think, Oh No, I couldn’t read that it sounds miserable however It is anything but! This a novel just bursting with love. Each chapter is told from the viewpoint of a different family member. Haslett works this seamlessly and develops and layers his characters so brilliantly that he gives us a wonderful insight into how they struggle with guilt and finding their own happiness. He asks us how much would you sacrifice to save those whom you love? How much is it possible to?
It took Haslett 5 years full time to write this novel, and it shows. The writing is exquisite, the insights, painful, honest and relevant. He avoids all the possible pitfalls, making his characters unbelievable, laying it on too thick etc. I felt that I knew his complex sympathetic family. I wanted them to find peace, to succeed, to find their own solace. I reread many passages, I started to read more slowly to absorb his words. I cried. I will definitely read it again. This was not a depressing novel, It was abundantly rich with love.
You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.