I Know This Much Is True By Wally Lamb

This book is a tough one. I read She’s Come Undone by the same author many years ago but remember enjoying it. While I was reading ‘I Know’ I kept on going back and forth. I liked it, I didn’t like it. It has excessive use of bad language, too descriptive sex scenes but then a great story line. The basic premise is the tale of two identical twins, one mentally ill and the other dealing with it, or not, as the case may be. Interesting generational story included although not at all flattering to the ‘old country’ folk. Life, death, marriage, birth – this book has it all. I have to say that at the end I enjoyed it, but goodness, getting there was quite a haul. 900 pages! I am usually quite good about plowing through larger tomes but this is not War and Peace. This puppy took days to read. The characters are not really likeable so that doesn’t help. It was rarely uplifting so therefore, for me, a little harder to want to jump into but life is seldom what we see in the movies and so maybe I should back off a bit. The writing is extraordinary – they say write what you know so maybe the author has first hand knowledge, I don’t know. What I do know is I have come away with a more compassionate view of those dealing with loved ones with this type of mental illness. Maybe that was his point.

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