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The Brinkmeyers - Michael  Cameron

I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 

Hymie Brinkmeyer has a wife who hasn't slept with him for 15 years and who he thinks is having an affair, a 19 year old daughter who has a child and another on the way and a 17 year old son who's just been expelled from school for drugs and suspect behaviour with girls and boys at the school. He thinks his PA is in love with him and to too it all he just found a lump in a worrying place.

 

He decides that the best way to deal with all that is going on in his life is to write a blog.

Hymie is on the surface a simple man. He appears to be blind to the deviancies of his son and the wanton behaviour of his daughter. He accepts the separate beds and separate lives he and his wife Maggie lead. He believes that what's important are this material things he has, his flash motor car for example and that providing these things for his family equates to showing them love.

 

Karen, his daughter joins in in the blog, using it as an outlet for her views of the corrupt capitalist world and for her poetry. Kevin, his son, joins in on the narrative later in his diary and novel outline entries and Maggie is noticeable in her absence.

 

At first I was unsure about this book. None of the characters seemed particularly engaging but I soon became immersed in the Brinkmeyers' world.

 

The blog format works well, being easy to read and I found myself flying through this, especially the latter half of the book.

 

As the story progresses we see Hymie realise that there are more important things to life than material objects and that he has been kidding himself that everything is fine with his family. Karen at first seems to simply be selfish and obnoxious but as the story develops she comes across as simply naive, and then wiser and more mature at the end of the story. Kevin shows that he has been misunderstood by has family and I found his story arch to be the most interesting. The fact that Maggie is appears to be an almost background character is also very telling.

 

I don't want to give too much away as to how the story develops as that would spoil the journey that you as a reader go on with Hymie and co.

 

From all I've said you could be misled into thinking this is quite a sober tale. I found it to be a sweet story, funny, bittersweet and sad in places. I enjoyed reading it and am grateful to the publisher for providing me with a review ebook copy.