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"If We're Going to Be Honest" | Reviewed by Susan Ferguson

If We’re Being Honest” is a contemporary novel, the story of a family named Williams. The book begins at the funeral of Gary Williams, the patriarch of his family. His three children and four grandchildren have all returned to stifling-hot Eulalia, Georgia, for the funeral.

After much discussion and introspection, it has been decided that Gerry’s best friend Fred will give the eulogy. And what a eulogy it is, with Fred revealing a well-hidden secret about Gerry. The opening sentence says it all, “Gerry Williams’s funeral was a shit show.” The family leaves the funeral confused and embarrassed.

Since the entire Williams’s family is attending the wedding of their friend and long-time neighbor’s daughter the weekend after the funeral, they are all staying in Eulalia for the week. During the tumultuous week readers witness family members examining their lives and evaluating the choices they have made in the past, or those they currently need to make. Every member has some sort of drama going on, each at a crossroad in their life.

“If We’re Being Honest” is a multigenerational, character driven novel that runs the gambit of emotions. Family members experience loss, grief, guilt, resentment, forgiveness, humor, love and hope. This engaging book reminds us that even though family can be frustrating, they also can be supportive and loyal.

I think anyone who is family-oriented will be able to relate to the Williams family.




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