What We All Want
With swift prose and acerbic observation, Michelle Berry's first novel is an incisive yet tender portrait of suburban strangeness. Three siblings gather to bury their mother, Becka, a bedridden agoraphobic. Billy and Thomas fled their mother's fearfulness long ago, but Hilary remained at home to care for Becka. Hilary's isolation has led to a few eccentricities of her own.The splintered siblings are all keepers of secrets. Disgruntled and often drunk, Billy is hiding his recent unemployment from his fleshy wife and pregnant teenage daughter. Thomas has been hiding his partner of fifteen years. And now Hilary has a dark, pressing secret--one that is fuelling her desire to bury her mother in the backyard where she can keep an eye on her.Fumbling his way through the chaos of the siblings is Dick Mortimer, the bizarrely sympathetic funeral director and former childhood sweetheart of Hilary's. Hilary and Dick's reunion is a rekindling of possibility and a release from the past. Together they convince Thomas and Billy to give Becka a curious funeral, culminating in an unusual backyard barbecue. Uniquely comic with a tragic edge, "What We All Want" gives us a warped world in which salvation comes unexpectedly and sweetly.
What people are saying - Write a review
baby backyard basement Becka beer beside Billy asks Billy breathes Billy looks Billy says Billy thinks Billy's body bottle breath bury casket clavicle clean coat coffee cold dead Dick looks Dick Mortimer Dick says Dick's dolls door dress drink embalming everything eyes face father fingers floor formaldehyde front funeral director funeral home gin and tonic hair hand head Hilary feels Hilary looks Hilary says Hilary thinks Hilary whispers Hilary's holds hole Jesus Jonathan says kitchen Kleenex laughs liver cancer living room minigolf mortician Mortimer's mother mouth move night nods opens pregnant preserve jar pulls puts Rebecca Mount remember rocks shakes sits smell smiles snow someone sorry stairs stares stay stops suddenly takes talk tell Tess says Tess's There's things Thomas asks Thomas looks Thomas says Thomas's touch turns wait walks watches What's window woman wonders