Genre: Literary fiction
Rating: YES. YES YES YES
Every-so-often, a book comes along that I can’t put down. I don’t want to rhapsodize about this book, because that’s not necessarily a review. And you guys probably want something more than OMG THIS BOOK WAS GREAT AND I LOVED IT AND OMG.
For anyone who’s ever gone through watching a loved one die from a prolonged illness, this book hits home in a lot of ways. For me, it wasn’t a spouse, but my grandfather, who died from bone cancer the summer before my junior year of college. That experience truly informed my reading of Dismantle the Sun, and honestly, I’m not sure how I would have reacted without it.
This is not an easy book to read, but it is definitely a book worth reading. The first line—“Someone had to die for Hal Nickerson to live in this house that he and his wife Jodie bought for a song seven years ago”—sets the tone for the entire novel, the idea of death bringing life. For Hal, who is dealing with his wife’s terminal diagnosis, this idea rings true. For Hal Nickerson to live, his wife has to finally die.
When we first meet him, he’s trying to do just that—with a woman his wife fixed him up with *yeah, I think we’ve all seen that movie*, and it’s not working out. Hal is still fiercely loyal to Jodie and that’s one of the best parts of his character. When the trainwreck that is his relationship with Ruth finally occurs, and we see this freed man who’s come to terms with his wife’s imminent demise, a man who remembers what life is, it’s almost a sigh of relief.
I loved this book. I really did. I loved watching this family fall apart and come back together in the most unexpected ways. I loved watching Hal try to find out who he is separate from the woman he’d loved since he was fifteen, and I loved how real the characters seemed. This one comes HIGHLY recommended.
Dismantle the Sun is available at: