Saturday, September 23, 2017

Ursula Hegi - The Worst Thing I’ve Done: A Novel

25. The Worst Thing I’ve Done: A Novel by Ursula Hegi (2007)
Length: 260 pages 
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 15 September 2017
Finished: 23 September 2017
Where did it come from? From Christmas Tree Shops
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 25 December 2011
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and Ursula Hegi is a new author for me.

Tonight, as she has done so many times before, Annabelle is driving between the North Sea and Montauk and back again. She is listening to talk radio and eating junk food; stifling her own rage and pain as she listens to the anonymous callers pour out their various tales of woe. This has been a part of Annie’s nightly routine - her own personal ritual - one that she has done ever since her husband Mason challenged everything that she once believed about herself and about their marriage. However no matter what she does, Annie can never seem to silence Mason’s urgent voice within her - it’s as desperate as some of the callers who confess their misery to the radio psychologists.

To so many of the people who know them, Annie, Jake, and Mason have always had a tremendously close friendship. Since early childhood, the three of them have had such a special bond with each other, and those ties have only strengthened for them over time. However on a day that should mark the happiest time of their lives, the initially tight friendship begins to warp into something else entirely. Something so emotionally charged and dangerous that nobody knows what to expect.

Their friendship begins to take a turn for the worse on of all days - Annie and Mason’s wedding day. Unfortunately that same night, Annie’s parents are killed in a tragic automobile accident, leaving their newborn daughter Opal an orphan. Although Annie is devastated by the loss of her parents, she must somehow find a way to put aside her own grief and tend to her newborn sister’s needs. So she and Mason take custody of Opal, and invite Jake to move in with them to help raise the child together.

Annie struggles to find a proper balance between all the responsibilities and relationships in her life and family: she is both a sister and a mother to Opal, a wife to Mason, and a friend to Jake. Perhaps inevitably, this already unique relationship grows increasingly more intense - becoming almost smotheringly close and dangerously entangled. Until that fateful night, when these three friends miss the precise moment in time that could have helped them all to take a step back from a crumbling precipice.

Instead, they continue goading each other to step across a line which ultimately leads to a series of shocking and unforeseen consequences. Set on the East End of Long Island, The Worst Thing I’ve Done is an incandescent novel of love, friendship, and marriage; of joy and betrayal; of an artist’s struggle to reconnect with her work; and of how we can sometimes choose our mothers, our families. This is a beautifully written story, brilliantly vivid and tremendously poignant; a stunning exploration of resilience and courage in the face of uncertainty.

To be perfectly honest, I’m not quite sure what to say about this book. Actually, I can’t really pinpoint what it was that disturbed me specifically, but I definitely found this to be extremely difficult reading for me. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed the plot and the premise of the story; I found it to be very intriguing and well-written. I found myself wavering slightly on how to rate this book, but eventually settled on giving it an A!

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

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