Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Worst Thing I've Done

No, this isn't some confession of the worst thing I have done. It is the name of the last book that I have read: The Worst Thing I've Done by Ursula Hegi.

The story is about 3 childhood friends, Jake, Mason and Annie. Mason appears to be a severe personality disorder (just my clinical opinion), who appears to successfully dictate whatever he wants the relationships between the three of them to be at any given time. Annie ends up marrying Mason, primarily because Jake could handle being the one left out, and Mason couldn't. The three remain best friends over the years. When Annie's little sister is left orphaned, the three vow to raise her together. Opal, Annie's sister, is nineteen years younger than Annie and together they struggle with their mother/sister relationship.

The book is well written and the story grabbed me immediately. I believe that the first sentence of this book may possibly be the best first sentence of a book that I have ever read:
"Tonight, Annie is driving from North Sea to Montauk and back to North Sea as she has every night since Mason killed himself."

Unless suicide is a present trauma for someone, who could resist reading more after that sentence? It pulled me into the story immediately. And I was not disappointed. Even in death, Mason has a huge pull/influence on Jake, Annie and Opal. Thankfully, Annie has a woman she grew up with that was her mother's best friend, whom Annie calls "Aunt Stormy". Annie and Opal go to stay with Aunt Stormy after Mason kills himself and Aunt Stormy wisely allows Annie to mourn, but gently guides her to healing.
This is a somewhat complicated book about very complicated relationships, but I found it easy to read. I will be curious to hear what others think about it.

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