Saturday, November 29, 2014

(98)Reunion by Hannah Pittard


When Kate Pulaski receives the news that her father had killed himself, her first thought was that husband, Peter, wouldn't leave her after such a tragedy.  She is numb to the news that her father is dead, but she is broken by what she did to her husband and with twisted logic hopes that his death might save her marriage.    Kate has made a complete mess of her life in more than one way.  Excessively in debt, distant from her family, and she had an affair that is likely going to cause the end of her marriage.  Peter meets her plane in Chicago and puts her right on another plane to go to Atlanta, where she will meet her brother Elliott and her sister, Nell.   Kate, Elliot, and Nell's relationship with their father has deteriorated into almost nothing after the death of their mother and their father's next five marriages.  None of them had a relationship with him, believing that he had an "out of sight out of mind" mentality about his children. Frankly, Kate would rather use her "baby sister" status  and coast through this weekend, but she is faced with hard truths about their father and herself.  Kate is left facing the hard consequences of her actions and is forced to face the uncertainty of her future. Will Kate be able to salvage her marriage to Peter or is she doomed to the same fate as her father?

Even though Reunion has some really dark themes it was refreshing in it's completely honest look at life.  Real life.  So many authors don't discuss the dark secrets that are under the surface of most marriages, like being on the same page about children, money troubles, excessive drinking, and then there is the affair.  Of course not every marriage has all of these troubles, but the odds are that at least one can be found in most marriages across the country.  Kate is so deeply flawed in so many ways that I wanted to not like her, but she was so broken it was hard to not like her.  As they get deeper into weekend in Atlanta you can see the dynamics between the siblings and you get just a glimpse at what Kate has dealt with since her mother died as a child.  Her older siblings set the bar high and she had a hard time living up to their standards.  And then there was the revolving door their father had for wives.  Throughout the whole book Kate was trying to justify her actions that has gotten her into this mess and by the end of the weekend she was a little more honest with herself and her family. I was glad to see her taking a little more responsibility for what she had done.

Bottom line, Reunion is an honest look at the mess one woman  has made of her life.   As damaged as Kate is, many of us will see glimpses of ourselves in her and that is enough to make it worth the read.

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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