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By Elizabeth Kelly

APOLOGIZE, APOLOGIZE! takes us into the perversely charmed global of the Flanagans and their son, Collie (who has the questionable success to be named after a breed of dog). Coming of age on Martha's winery, he struggles to discover his position inside of his wildly filthy rich, hyper-articulate, resolutely loopy Irish-Catholic relatives: a philandering father, incorrigible brother, pigeon-racing uncle, radical activist mom, and domineering media rich person grandfather (accused of being a assassin through Collie's mother). it's a international the place chaos is exhilaratingly consistent, the place funds is of no item. And but it's a global the place the issues Collie wants-understanding, balance, a feeling of belonging-cannot be got for any fee. via his travails, we become aware of what it particularly ability to develop up and likewise to develop into one's relations: discovering to discover how one can see them anew, to forgive them, and to be forgiven in flip.

In prose that's energetic, funny, and outstanding all through, Elizabeth Kelly supplies us the dysfunctional-family novel to finish all dysfunctional-family novels, discovering the comedy and pathos in her characters' struggles, and displaying fantastically how a family's love might be as attempting because it is correct.

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At least Homer opened and closed these gates for me. It was forty-five minutes before we reached the next road. I still didn’t recognise it, so we had to start the whole process again, me navigating by instinct as we followed fencelines and old wheeltracks. Any time things looked like getting too civilised – any hint of buildings or small well-cultivated paddocks for example – I’d swing away again. No matter how tired and frustrated I got I could always console myself with the thought that they’d never follow us here.

I asked Lee, nodding at the girl with the splint. ‘I think so,’ he said. ’ The girl, as if on cue, said, ‘I can’t walk anywhere. ’ She started crying too. Only then did I realise who she was. Casey, the kid I’d hugged in the house in Castlefield Street. I looked at the other two girls more closely then, and recognised one of them as the third girl from that rumpus room. But Brianna, the bad-tempered red-head, must have been back in Stratton, coping or not coping on her own. ‘I’m not going with you lot,’ the oldest boy said.

We concentrated on getting down the spur. It was a nuisance, doing this. We’d have to slog our way back up sooner or later, and it would be quite a slog. I hated throwing away height that I’d worked hard to gain. The spur was very rocky and soon got thinner. There were three sharp 40 drops, none of them dangerous, but none of them easy. For the third one I had to turn around and go down facing the cliff, so it was as hard as that. I must admit I was surprised that the kids had got this far, and Homer’s words were starting to haunt me.

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