I just finished a book which is focused almost entirely on family drama.
A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon. Click here for the website.
I have read Haddon’s other piece of work – The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-time. Although that book was highly acclaimed, unfortunately I didn’t quite get the story and the hype behind it. Not my type of book probably, or I read it at the wrong time. Some have even said that Spot of Bother is not as good as Curious Incident.
Therefore, I was rather hesitant when I picked up this book at the neighbourhood book rental shop. I was feeling inspired on that day, having just picked up two other books at the college library. So I thought I should get the momentum going and picked another three (unconventional) books at the aforementioned shop.
I was highly entertained by this book. About.com says that
In A Spot of Bother, George Hall is convinced that the eczema on his thigh is cancer and is unable to deal with his daughter’s wedding, his wife’s affair, and his son’s homosexuality. Funny and perceptive, if not uplifting, Haddon’s biggest accomplishment is writing something completely different from Curious Incident, and writing it well.
Although Hall’s behaviour throughout the book was on the brink of insanity, I found myself empathizing with him and the family’s journey is surreal yet not impossible. Perhaps the issues explored in this book is close enough to every family if we delve deep enough into the emotions only. Like deciding whether the person you’re marrying is really the one, raising small children, sustaining a marriage when you’re past retirement age and confronting homosexuality. Not to forget, the roles of those who are around us like our best friends and even our partner’s family members.
Humour aside, A Spot of Bother tells me that I should appreciate my family for who they are, to listen closer to what my loved ones are saying and to learn to be a better friend.