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Did You Ever Have a Family

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.



“Masterly.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Daring.” —NPR

Starred Pre-Publication Reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist

One of Entertainment Weekly’s “Blockbuster Novels,” Fall Books Preview

Glamour Magazine’s #1 Pick of “5 Things I’m Loving,” September issue

A Buzzfeed “19 Awesome New Books You Need to Read This Fall” Pick

The stunning debut novel from bestselling author Bill Clegg is a magnificently powerful story about a circle of people who find solace in the least likely of places as they cope with a horrific tragedy.

On the eve of her daughter’s wedding, June Reid’s life is completely devastated when a shocking disaster takes the lives of her daughter, her daughter’s fiancé, her ex-husband, and her boyfriend, Luke—her entire family, all gone in a moment. And June is the only survivor.

Alone and directionless, June drives across the country, away from her small Connecticut town. In her wake, a community emerges, weaving a beautiful and surprising web of connections through shared heartbreak.

From the couple running a motel on the Pacific Ocean where June eventually settles into a quiet half-life, to the wedding’s caterer whose bill has been forgotten, to Luke’s mother, the shattered outcast of the town—everyone touched by the tragedy is changed as truths about their near and far histories finally come to light.

Elegant and heartrending, and one of the most accomplished fiction debuts of the year, Did You Ever Have a Family is an absorbing, unforgettable tale that reveals humanity at its best through forgiveness and hope. At its core is a celebration of family—the ones we are born with and the ones we create.

From Publishers Weekly

Jun 29, 2015 – In this sorrowful and deeply probing debut novel, literary agent and memoirist Clegg (Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man) delivers a story of loss and its grueling aftermath. The story opens with an unimaginable tragedy: a Connecticut house is consumed by fire in the wee hours before a wedding. The bride's mother, June, is the only survivor. Everyone else Lolly, June's daughter, with whom she had a strained relationship; June's womanizing ex-husband, Adam; June's ex-con boyfriend Luke, 20 years her junior; and Lolly's fianc , Will all die in the blaze. But where was June when the explosion occurred? Clegg pieces the mystery together through the voices of his characters. There's Luke's lonely, scandal-courting mother, Lydia, who shoulders secrets about her son; 15-year-old Silas, a stoner who was the last to see Luke, with June, the night before he died. And there's Rebecca, Kelly, and Cissy caretakers of the Moonstone motel in Moclips, Wash., where June holes up for nine months after the fire and wastes away. The conclusion of the family's narrative is foregone: due to the fire, everyone ends up dead or alone. But it's Clegg's deft handling of all the parsed details missed opportunities, harbored regrets, and unspoken good intentions that make the journey toward redemption and forgiveness so memorable.

Customer Reviews

Did You Ever Have A Family

I have always enjoyed books that are written from the perspectives of multiple people. This book was no exception. It took me a while to find my rhythm with the characters, especially when a character was introduced in the beginning of the book but didn't resurface again until much later in the story. I found myself going back to refresh in my mind what was said about them. I like books with this set up because everything gets tied up in the end. It's surprising how many people are connected by the thread of one person's life.
The premise of the book revolves around the death of June's current boyfriend, June's daughter and future son-in-law, and June's ex-husband. Bill Clegg shows the repercussions of the tragedy on the characters and slowly discloses the truth behind the explosion. Clegg shows that, even in our most devastating moments in life, we are not alone; we are connected. I liked that the characters venture out from their small hometown and were able to still be connected to each other. My heart broke for June and Lydia. Their reaction to their losses were so different yet so similar. I loved how everyone in Moonstone-from Rebecca to Kelly to Will's family to Cissy- rallied around June/Jane and gave her everything she needed, whether June realized it or not.
The last chapter from Cissy will cement the book together for anyone reading this book.

Beautiful story

Absolutely loved this book and hope it's the first of many more novels from this brilliant author.


A very short review written through the tears..... WOW! Stunningly simple and beautiful. One of the finest books I've read in years. Thank you.

Did You Ever Have a Family
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Sep 01, 2015
  • Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings