The Exact Nature of Our Wrongs

6/10

I really wanted to love this book, if only because the cover is so gorgeous. Also because the blurb on the back made it sound like a good read, but man! The cover art reeled me in.

For all my good intentions, the story didn’t hold my interest. The story centers around the Campbell family, a group that makes your family drama seem comparatively inconsequential. When they aren’t too drunk or stoned to function (as you might guess from the title), they are trying to wrangle their place in the Campbell patriarch’s will or else somehow screw over everyone else in the family in whatever way they can.

The plot is interesting for the first three-quarters of the story or so, and the characters are captivating enough to keep you reading, but my issue was that the book didn’t really go anywhere. No one learns from their mistakes, and no one character gets a satisfactory ending. Maybe that’s real life, but it isn’t what I’m looking for when I pick up a book. Another issue for me was that the POV wasn’t consistent; large sections were from the point of view of the matriarch, Hattie Campbell, but every once in a while, one of the children would take over (of the five surviving children, however, only four every narrated as far as I can remember. Why not all five?).

TL;DR: A good character study and some intriguing family drama, but not much more than that.

AND WHAT ABOUT THE MOVIE? The story might actually benefit from a change of format (and some rewrites with the ending, perhaps?). This is another one of those books that I also think could make an excellent weekly sitcom, where every week a new scheme to commander Abel Campbell’s will could be cooked up by the kids.

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