Title: Imagine Me Gone
Author: Adam Haslett
Pub Date: May 3rd, 2016
This is going to be on my favourite books of 2016 list. It is a fantastic book! Highly recommend it to everyone!
I like how the story is presented. Each part of the book is divided into chapters that are presented by each character. Chapters by Michael are perfection; they show his personality and suffering in a beautiful way, but do not focus on just that. They show how smart he is and how funny he is. Some of his chapters are illustrated in an alternative way, and I especially enjoyed them. The second favourite thing about this book is how the beginning of Alec’s relationship is shown; it’s amazing. It shows how Alec is afraid of love, of showing off his emotions, but how much he needs the love. The descriptions are tender and beautiful.
I liked how characters are shown through 30 or so years of their lives. We have a chance to grow with them, get to know them very well and see those children – Michael, Celia and Alec grow up. And how different is the story at the beginning from the one we are ending with? I think that is the thing that makes this book so amazing.
The cast of characters is making this book so enjoyable, and different. We have Michael that is very passionate about music and social justice, and especially sensitive to racial issues and white supremacy. Alec that is a needy kid, that looks for acceptance of his older siblings and grow ups to be a journalist, who shows how he loves his family by caring for finances, who is slowly accepting to be loved. Celia I think is not the strongest character here, and is not shown in a way that stood out for me. There is also Margaret and John, the parents. Parts by Margaret are not my favourite, but some parts show how she was struggling to be a mother, how she was struggling to take care of her grown children and how weak she felt while doing it all. There aren’t many parts by John, but they are excellent. Show his struggles in a very real way. Looking at the characters, I see that male characters are presented and crafted considerably better than the female characters. And that’s a shame….
I like how at the beginning of the book, there is a part when John is playing a game with Alec and Celia. They are on a boat, and he tells them to act as he is not there, to imagine him gone. He’s teaching them to get by without him, while still being there is rescue them. And I think he thought them well because they seem to cope the best in adult life. This episode perfectly sets the story, and what the title of the book means for the storyline.