Monday, 25 April 2011

So Much For That - Lionel Shriver

Synopsis - Shep Knacker has long saved for "The Afterlife": an idyllic retreat to the Third World where his nest egg can last forever. Traffic jams on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway will be replaced with "talking, thinking, seeing, and being"—and enough sleep. When he sells his home repair business for a cool million dollars, his dream finally seems within reach. Yet Glynis, his wife of twenty-six years, has concocted endless excuses why it's never the right time to go. Weary of working as a peon for the jerk who bought his company, Shep announces he's leaving for a Tanzanian island, with or without her.

Just returned from a doctor's appointment, Glynis has some news of her own: Shep can't go anywhere because she desperately needs his health insurance. But their policy only partially covers the staggering bills for her treatments, and Shep's nest egg for The Afterlife soon cracks under the strain. (Taken from Goodreads)
Review - I did wonder where this book was going and how it would pan out, but it did come together in the end.  The point was also evading me but as the book progressed it all became clear.  Shriver is an excellent author, her writing and vocabulary exemplary.  This is not my favourite book from her, I preferred 'Double Fault' and 'We Need To Talk About Kevin'. 
When you have a goal in sight after building your own business and making money from its sale, to have that dream whipped from under your feet must be soul breaking.  Shriver really does tell the reader about the American health system sucking all your hard earned cash.  It makes you realise that although we moan about our own health system, we don't have to pay for it unless we choose to do so.  In this story money is spent on an incurable cancer, home care for an ailing relative and keeping a disabled child alive. On top of that you have the tax system.  You can see Jackson's view, what is the point of saving your hard earned cash to be left with nothing in the end.  The book is aptly titled 'So Much For That', which is exactly the point! 3*

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