Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Book Review Club, July 3, 2013
AFTER VISITING FRIENDS, is the story of Michael Hainey's attempt to find out exactly how his father died at age 33 in 1970. His uncle awoke the family that morning to say his father had been found dead after visiting friends on a city street in Chicago. No police visit, no hospital call. It was too unofficial of an announcement not to disturb his son when he was old enough to think about it.
For years the idea of who those friends were haunted Michael Hainey. Michael was only 6 when his Dad died and he had little memory of him. His father, a reporter too, worked at night so his time with his kids was scant. His mother didn't seem to much question the oddity of the story. Who were these friends her husband was visiting? She immediately undertook what was necessary to support her sons and left the events of that night alone.
By the time, Michael's search is underway many of the players are dead and those alive are very secretive or protective about his Dad. Most advise him to forget about it since there is no question of the cause of death, but he can't. Although Michael eventually comes to an understanding of what happened that night, he also is looking for facts about his Dad. It is not until the very end of the book that we learn what perhaps formed the man he was.
This was a very well- written and compelling book. Highly recommended.
Now here is the question that comes with it. Did you parents keep secrets or was their marriage and their past an open book?
I didn't find out until I was fully grown with children of my own that my parents separated after he returned from the war for quite a long time. There were other secrets too.