Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Death in the Family

A Death in the Family by James Agee
1958 Pulitzer

"A Death in the Family" explores the emotions of the people left behind immediately after an sudden, accidental death. Jay Follet has been called out in the middle of the night by his alcoholic brother, Ralph. Ralph tells Jay their father has had a heart attack and asks Jay to come as soon as he can. Jay immediately leaves Knoxville for his fathers farm. And as he had suspected, the heart attack had been exaggerated. So he heads for home. On the way he loses control of the steering, crashes the car and is killed.

His wife May is overwhelmed by grief. His small children don't completely understand. His brother feels guilty for calling him out. His in-laws are more detached, but still sorrowful.

Mary turns to religion. And some of the family feel Jay's presence. some cling to the hope his spirit is still with them.

This is a book with a characters and emotions everyone can relate to.

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