This week I tackled The Angry Woman Suite. In this rich complex story three different characters give three perspectives on the dysfunction within the Grayson family that spans generations. When Francis is a little boy he lives with his mother and aunts in the family home. But all is not well. The house is full of tension between the women living there that Francis as a little boy has trouble understanding. As he grows up he attracts the attention of his teacher and local historian Aidan, who helps Francis find freedom and comfort in music. Francis escapes his family through music building a career travelling and playing until he meets and marries the mother of Elyse. This little girl gives the final view on the Grayson family troubles and resolution, of as close to it as they're likely to get.
That's a brief summary of the main plotline of the story, but there is so much richness to this book. Each of narrating characters has their own story to tell, and their own personal journey. All of the characters are so well-developed, and their voices are all distinct. That is probably the greatest achievement in this book. Fullbright true puts herself "in the background" as William Strunk and E. B. White advise. There was no author-ly intrusion in this story. The reader is completely immersed in this family and the world of this book.
The main story itself would be compelling enough to make this an entertaining book. But beyond the events themselves, it's really an exploration of how cruel we can be to the ones we love, and how thin the line is between love and hate. It is told so very well that you believe every bit of it. If you were to tell me that this was based on a true story, I would absolutely believe it. The realism is that stark.
This is probably the best indie book I've ever read (and I read a lot of them). I can't recommend it strongly enough. I expect I will come back an read this one again.