I thought I was going to take a break from Blogging for Books in order to tackle all the books (I haven’t read) on my overflowing bookshelves. Sure, I’d check the site every now and then to see what they were offering but I’d always talk myself out of requesting review copies of anything. That was until I saw the cover, and read the premise, of David Samuel Levinson’s Tell Me How This Ends Well:
“In 2022, American Jews face an increasingly unsafe and anti-Semitic landscape at home. Against this backdrop, the Jacobson family gathers for Passover in Los Angeles. But their immediate problems are more personal than political, with the three adult children, Mo, Edith, and Jacob, in various states of crisis, the result, each claims, of a lifetime of mistreatment by their father, Julian. The siblings have begun to suspect that Julian is hastening their mother Roz’s demise, and years of resentment boil over as they debate whether to go through with the real reason for their reunion: an ill-considered plot to end their father’s iron rule for good. That is, if they can put their bickering, grudges, festering relationships, and distrust of one another aside long enough to act.
And God help them if their mother finds out . . .”
Hard to turn away, right? That’s why I knew I had to get my hands on a copy.
The novel is split into five sections, each told from the point of view of a different character in the novel. If you’ve been paying attention, you know this is one of my favorite types of story-telling. Not only was the plot interesting but the way it was written was right up my alley. My expectations for this one were high.
And almost immediately, I was disappointed. The first section is told from the POV of the youngest Jacobson offspring: Jacob. It was hard for me to get into the story. It felt slow and unbelievable. I was forcing myself to read the book that I had looked forward to. At one point, I considered giving up on it altogether.
I stuck it out, though. It’s not easy for me to put a book down and I decided not to, even though I was kicking myself for awhile. Honestly, I’m glad I stuck with it. Once I got past Jacob, I felt like the story was more relatable and enjoyable. The other characters were likable and felt fully formed.
The reader meets up with Jacob, once more, at the end of the novel. When I saw his name, I rolled my eyes, not wanting to hate the book all over again. This time around I was pleasantly surprised. the final chapter felt like all the others before it, with the exception of the first.
I still can’t figure out if Jacob had grown on me or if the first section was really as unbearable as I initially experienced it to be.
All in all, I’m glad I finished the book. By the end of it, I didn’t want to put it down.
If the story is something that interests you, I’d suggesting checking it out for yourself…but be warned that you might have to wade through some slush before you get to the good stuff.
DISCLAIMER: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.