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Tell Me How This Ends Well

Tell Me How This Ends Well Book Cover Tell Me How This Ends Well
David Samuel Levinson
April 4, 2017
Publisher via Penguin First to Read

In 2022, American Jews face an increasingly unsafe and anti-Semitic landscape at home. Against this backdrop, the Jacobson family gathers for Passover in Los Angeles. But their immediate problems are more personal than political, with the three adult children, Mo, Edith, and Jacob, in various states of crisis, the result, each claims, of a lifetime of mistreatment by their father, Julian. The siblings have begun to suspect that Julian is hastening their mother Roz's demise, and years of resentment boil over as they debate whether to go through with the real reason for their reunion: an ill-considered plot to end their father's iron rule for good. That is, if they can put their bickering, grudges, festering relationships, and distrust of one another aside long enough to act.
And God help them if their mother finds out . . .
Tell Me How This Ends Well presents a blistering and prescient vision of the near future, turning the exploits of one very funny, very troubled family into a rare and compelling exploration of the state of America, and what it could become.

My review:

When I explain what this book is about, I don't know if anyone will think this is going to be a satisfying read. A group of siblings want to kill off their father so their ailing mother can have a few good months of her life left to live. Trouble is, on the surface, the mother doesn't appear to really dislike the life she's led. Sounds morbid right? Except that even with the synopsis, I requested an advance copy. I kind of knew that I was going to like it.......and I did! The book focuses on each of the three siblings, and then their mother, with each one narrating a section of the book. It all takes place over a Passover weekend, with occasional flashbacks from each narrator showing the atrocities of their respective lives with this intolerable man. Even though there is abuse (emotional and mental, nothing physical), it's told in a way that while causing you to detest the father, is still a farcical look at deciding to kill him off. The characters, and their significant others, are all so well conceived by the author, and despite what seems to be a heady premise, there are several laugh out loud moments. The ending is quite the surprise, but totally satisfying in its resolution. This one is just quirky enough to totally satisfy my penchant for dysfunctional family stories.

Well written characters, and a completely original plot, this one should garner your attention if you are looking for something a bit off the beaten path in fiction.

2 thoughts on “Tell Me How This Ends Well

  1. Catherine

    Hhhhmmmm...I think I'm where you were- I can't tell if I'd love this or not so much.

    You've made it sound complex enough that I'm going to give it a try. Thanks!


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