Thomas Martin is everything a man is supposed to be. He has a beautiful wife and a loving daughter, a good house on Long Island, a flourishing career at a prestigious Manhattan advertising firm. He’s a good son and brother, taking it upon himself to support his ailing mother and adult sisters. He knows it’s his God-given duty to shield them, his girls, from the everyday horrors of the world.
But he has failed, and unspeakable tragedy has befallen his family.
Now, Thomas struggles to come to terms with what has become of his life. If only he can tell the story as he saw it, he believes he might find out how and why things unravelled so horribly; how he failed so disastrously.
Because Thomas Martin is a good man.
After reading the blurb on this book, I was looking forward to reading it, believing it to be right up my street, story wise.
But, I hesitate to say that, the writing is good, with the narrator all the way through being the husband, or as he see’s himself As Good Man’ but is he? At the beginning we know he tells stories for a living. Does this make him a reliable narrator? Can we believe what he is saying? How things happen? After all at the beginning the reader knows something bad is going to happen, we just don’t know what has happened.
Thomas Martin, is in advertising, he is a big opera fan, he tells how he met his wife, Miriam, they have a daughter. He is a devoted husband/father/brother/son or is he? Again, it’s just his version.
I have to say I struggled to stay with this book, but then I had to know what happened, so had to continue. There is a lot of description, at times I felt too much. In the beginning he practically retells one of Wagner’s opera’s, I know this is for an atmospheric sort of effect, but for me, i found it was just a little over the top. There are lots of references to the opera’s he listens to. Obviously others may not agree on this, some people may enjoy the description.
Some of the description is good, and useful, as backstory to his upbringing, the dilapidated family home, the twin sisters who are at least a little eccentric, if not a lot eccentric, the mother fragile, who still live in the family home, which Thomas helps to pay the bills etc.
How much did he control his wife? And his daughter? His girls as he calls them throughout. I wish I could have cared about any of the characters but I just didn’t’, there seemed nothing to like about Thomas or his family, surely there should have been something for at least Miriam, or the daughter.
The end of the story was dramatic, perhaps trying to mimic one of his beloved opera’s he listened to. How had this man become so? Was it from his upbringing, did it start there? His controlling nature, his violent sex with his wife, did she really enjoy that? Or again is it in his narration. Which there is a small glimpse of something slightly different at some part of the book, which describes his first meeting with his wife so different, to what he has led the reader to believe early on. He sees it as love at first sight, but as you read you do begin to wonder if that was really the case. As the layers start to be peeled back a little at a time, you get to see a little bit of insight into who Thomas is or isn’t!
It’s difficult to actually give much more to this without adding spoilers, except to say he see’s himself as A Good Man, but the reader has to decide, whether you see him as he believes himself to be.
I give this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for me the writing is good, I just felt the story felt a little flat for me, I wanted more, possibly from other characters.
I would like to thank #netgalley and #WilliamHeinemann for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ani Katz is a writer, photographer, and teacher. She was born and raised on the south shore of Long Island, and holds an MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago and a BA from Yale. She lives in Brooklyn.