Collie (who is named after a breed of dog) is a quiet, studious person. His family on the other hand is what you would call eccentric in more ways then one. He has a mogul grandfather, an activist mother, the philandering father, an uncle who is the housekeeper, a younger brother who is the exact opposite of himself, and sadly favoured more in the family then he is in this crazy cast of characters.
Collie is one that doesn’t take many chances like his younger brother Bing. Bing has gotten kicked out of every school he has ever attended, and promiscuous to the point that he hasn’t gotten an STD, and who lives life like it is his last day. His mother who is a product of society, and detests every minute of it, coincidentally acusses her mogul father of killing her mother, who also pressures Collie to be more of a free being, taking more chances like his younger brother Bing. (Bing is her favorite and tells Collie all about it.)
Then there is his father, who drinks to excess, who comes across of marrying his mother for only the money, always having affairs, which his mother seemingly ignores, thinking it is only a phase, and that he will stop.
The housekeeper uncle who talks to Collie about racing pigeons, teases him when he is talking to his uncle by way of spelling bee’s, when he isnt drunk and falling over something or someone.
The grandfather last, but not least, who Collie and Bing have labelled him “The Falcon”, who flies all over the US and the world making business deals who lives in a sprawling estate on Martha’s Vineyard. Giving the boys “this is what you should do” advice. He favors Collie more then Bing, and at times shakes his head and doesn’t want to have anything to do with the rest of the family only if he has to.
This book for me was one of those families you could either love or hate, the type that makes you laugh out loud, or just shake your head at all of the antics and situations they inexplicably place on themselves and others. In Collie’s search for what is best for him in life, a place for him ultimately where he would belong, and be able to deal with his grief in his own way. I hope that one day he will find it, how he should go about the world, in peace and happiness.
I found it hard to fathom such a full robust, and at times such a dysfunctional family to be a part of. As I was turning the pages in search of what the whole family and separately were trying to find in the wake of their own timetables. Do people or families this eccentric / dysfunctional find their way eventually, or do they give up and just go on like they have been going on and be as normal as they think they are? I guess only they would know.