What I'm Trying to Say is Goodbye
by Lois Simmie
The funny, sad and engaging story of a shattered family's attempt to figure out where exactly each member fits.
In Simmie's trademark style, this sweeping new novel is the funny, sad and engaging story of a shattered family's attempt to figure out where exactly each member fits.
Matthew's a burned-out, recovering alcoholic ex-newspaperman who finds himself almost nightly roaming the halls of the Victoria apartment building he looks after while fighting to stay on the wagon. Delia's his estranged wife, who still likes him - she left him reluctantly when she didn't know what else to do - but doesn't really trust him. Kate's their daughter, trapped in a loveless marriage with Michael, her religious zealot husband who can't wait for the end of the world. Sam's the grandson, caught in the middle but looking hard for a way out.
With this heartbreaking cast of characters, Lois Simmie assembles a true fictional tour de force, a roller coaster of a novel that just won't let up until the final page.
As Matthew deals daily with the eccentric tenants of his building and struggles to resist the powerful temptation to hit the bottle again, he's not necessarily in a reflective mood. Lord knows he's got his own troubles. But as sobriety takes a bit more root in him and he begins to look outward, he sees that he's not the only one with problems. In fact, maybe others - people that he loves in his own way and still, in their own ways, love him - have problems bigger than his. But these are people he's let down in the past with his cowardly ways, with his weakness, with his self-absorption. It's going to take every ounce of courage that he's got, all the wisdom he can muster, all the wherewithal he's not sure he possesses, to try to make a difference. It was too late once. But if he fails this time, it really is goodbye.