May We Be Forgiven: A Novel

May We Be Forgiven: A Novel

A. M. Homes

Language: English

Pages: 496

ISBN: 014750970X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

“A big American story with big American themes” (Elle) from the author of the New York Times–bestselling memoir The Mistress’s Daughter

In this vivid, transfixing new novel, A. M. Homes presents a darkly comic look at twenty-first-century domestic life and the possibility of personal transformation. Harold Silver has spent a lifetime watching his more successful younger brother, George, acquire a covetable wife, two kids, and a beautiful home in the suburbs of New York City. When George’s murderous temper results in a shocking act of violence, both men are hurled into entirely new lives. May We Be Forgiven digs deeply into the near biblical intensity of fraternal relationships, our need to make sense of things, and our craving for connection. It is an unnerving tale of unexpected intimacies and of how one deeply fractured family might begin to put itself back together.

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myself up somewhere with a big box marked ‘Free Kittens.’” The truth is, I feel like a giant bully taking the kittens from the mother cat. For a couple days, I practice separating the mother and her kittens by taking the kittens away and then bringing them back a few hours later—thinking it’s somehow less stressful than a sudden and permanent absence. When the day comes, I bring the plastic cat-crate up from the basement and line it with old towels. I find an old card table in the basement,

is useless up here—no signal. I pour coins into the pay phone. “You’re getting me out of court to complain that they didn’t accept your toothpaste and that your feelings are hurt?” “That’s correct. I drove all the way the hell up here to see him. I could have FedExed his clothing. They didn’t even accept his toothbrush, which he’s not going to be happy about.” “I’m sure they’ll tell him that you were there. Showing up counts for something,” the lawyer says. “I gotta go.” He hangs up without

degradation.” “I can’t,” I say. “I did it for myself, for my pleasure.” “Yes,” she says, “but for my pleasure I need to pay you.” Twenty bucks is forced on me. Twenty bucks—is that all I’m worth? I would have thought more. Maybe that’s her point? After that, from each house, each woman, I take something. Nothing big, nothing of value, but like a trinket, something as small as a single sock, a little something that catches my eye. On one particular Wednesday, I am especially looking forward

remember his number, I can’t seem to work the phone. Fine, I think, I’ll drive myself to the hospital. I make my way out of the house and into the car. I put the car into reverse, and then realize that I don’t have the key and the engine is not running. I take my foot off the brake and get out. The car rolls down the driveway. I vomit where I am standing. The car rolls into the street and into the path of an oncoming car. An accident happens. Somehow I am still standing in the driveway, next

police officer who arrives. “Please inform your troops.” “Which one of you is Mr. Silver?” the cop asks. I assume he must be a detective because he is not wearing a uniform. We both raise our hands, simultaneously: “I am.” “Let’s see some identification.” George fumbles as if looking for his, flapping the hospital gown. “We’re brothers,” I say. “I’m the elder.” “So—who did what to whom?” He’s got his notebook out. George sips his coffee. I say nothing. “It’s not a complicated question;

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