TELL ME HOW THIS ENDS WELL: A NOVEL, BY DAVID SAMUEL LEVINSON
PUBLICATION: HOGARTH; APRIL 4, 2017
About the book:
Why is tonight different from all other nights?
Tonight we kill dad.
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.
For those of you that read my blog regularly (thanks!), you will soon learn that this is the shortest review I will ever write. Tell Me How This Ends Well is an interesting title, because I kept asking myself, “does it get any better?” From what I gathered, Jacob and his boyfriend/partner Diet are visiting L.A. from Berlin because of Jacob’s mother being ill. But also, him and his two siblings – Mo and Edith – have all planned to kill their father Julian. Because he was a bad parent, they think he’s contributed to their mother’s illness, etc. I will admit that I was unable to force myself to finish this book. Most of the time spent reading was re-reading over and over because the writing style had me completely baffled trying to differentiate between the present and flashbacks. What I thought was going to be “dark humor” did not provoke the tiniest of a chuckle. This book has mixed reviews, with several being very positive reviews, however, I just didn’t get it. Moreover, I didn’t want to. It was a tedious read at best and rather than connecting with the characters and the story, I just kept wishing I was doing anything but reading this novel.
*Thanks to Blogging for Books for providing this novel in exchange for an honest review.