Monday, November 6, 2017

All Those Things We Never Said by Marc Levy | US Edition | ARC | A Book Review

All Those Things We Never Said by Marc Levy | US Edition | ARC | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

This is my first time to read a Marc Levy. His name sounds so familiar. Probably, because he is an international best selling French author. Thank you, Netgalley, for the copy of this book. Finally, now I would know a book by Marc Levy.

Julia and his Dad had been in non-speaking terms for years. Julia left home and cut ties with his controlling Dad and made a life of her own. She is now a creative director, designing animated characters for children for movies and games. She is going to be married in a few days but then, as usual, her father found a way of ruining her wedding day. Classic Anthony Walsh!

How would you react if instead of celebrating a wedding, you instead will have to bury your father on the same day? A wedding and a funeral back-to-back is definitely not an option. So, Julia had no choice but to postpone her wedding to give way to his father's funeral. As usual, Anthony Walsh got his way. Even in death, he always got a way to interfere in Julia's life.

As it turned out, Anthony's death is sort of a blessing in disguise or more appropriately an intervention. Anthony's death brought on a surprise package for Julia which was the most bizarre of all. If I were Julia, I would definitely have a heart attack. The surprise package brought Julia a chance to spend a few days away from work, re-examine her life in New York and her relationships, travel back to Berlin and revisit wonderful and painful memories and learn a few things about her father. She also got the chance to say what she was not able to tell her father. All her disappointments and hurts. At the same time, his father got his chance to tell Julia just how much he loved and cared for her and admit that he was sorry for the years lost spent on business trips and poured over work than spending time with his daughter.

This is a very touching story. I was crying and this made me examine my relationship with my father which I could say could have been better. Somehow, this story touched a nerve. Some of Anthony's explanations to Julia were like a thorn to my heart. I found myself guilty for having the same thoughts as Julia. In ways, I could relate to Julia. Why is it that parents tend to have the mindset that their children will always remain kids in their eyes? Are we not allowed to grow up? Make our own decisions, make mistakes and learn from them? Why would they have to force on us some of their beliefs and opinions, are we not allowed to think for ourselves? Are we not allowed to correct them if they their perspective is not anymore what is applicable today?

I feel I may not be the only one asking all these questions about the complexity of a father-daughter relationship or a parent-child relationship. Every family has it own dysfunctional relationship or behavior. And each of us have learned our own way of navigating this complexities, or tolerate, if not avoid them. Yes, this book drive its point right to the core. Everyone, after reading this would definitely contemplate on their relationships, especially one with their parents. I think, Julia is lucky because his Dad realized his mistakes and was willing to make up for them, even if it was a bit too late. He knows that Julia, no matter what happens, still loves him and that in some way, his words still matter. It was admirable and unbelievable that Anthony took a very high-tech way of trying to reach out to Julia and remind her that in spite of everything that has happened to them, a parent's love never diminishes over the passage of time. Anthony's intervention, though unsolicited and at first, deemed unnecessary, somehow made Julia realize what matters most in her life. 

I give this 5/5 stuffed otter. I think fathers and parents should read this book. I think they can learn a few things from Anthony Walsh. I, being a child of my parents and a future parent, have learned a lot from this book. No wonder, Mr. Levy is a best selling author. If his books are anywhere as great as this story, then he deserves all the fame and recognition afforded to him. This book is just what I needed for some clarity and answers to some questions. Anthony explained and expressed what most parents are unable to tell their children to make us understand what often causes the rift and distance in the relationship. And that the most effective way to bridge the ever-widening gap is to talk about them which is easier said than done. It works in theory but a bit harder to pull off in reality. Agree?

I've learned one of the great lessons a parent can learn over these last few days--the importance of taking the time to get to know the adult who stands where once stood a child, and to give that adult their rightful place.
- Marc Levy, All Those Things We Never Said -  

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