Did You Ever Have A Family

Did You Ever Have A Family

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:

"Masterly." --The New York Times Book Review

"Daring." --NPR

Kirkus Reviews 's Best of 2015

Library Journal 's Top Ten Best Books of 2015

Booklist 's Top Ten First Novels

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.
Publisher: New York : Scout Press, 2015.
Edition: First Scout Press hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781476798172
Characteristics: 293 pages ; 22 cm


Featured Blogs and Events

Adult Book Club: Did You Every Have a Family

Join us as we discuss Did You Ever Have A Family by Bill Clegg.Copies of the book are available at the Circulation Desk. (more)

Book Club: Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

Join us as we discuss Did You Ever Have A Family. 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. --provided by goodreads (more)

View All Staff Blog Posts »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jan 11, 2018

This book begins with a devastating loss and then proceeds to tell the back stories of each character who has died and the living. It is heartbreaking that the main character loses everyone in one fell swoop. How she is able to find a place in the world again that has meaning is also painful and beautiful to read. I think it is a sad story overall and yet it is also a story of hope and new beginnings in a very real way. I would not recommend it to anyone dealing with a fresh loss as I wouldn't necessarily call it cathartic.
Good writing and it would make a good discussion because I have read many reviews of varying degrees of like and dislike. Those make the best book talks.

Marlowe Nov 23, 2016

Initially this novel did not grab me, but by the end, when all the threads got pulled together, and you could see the entire work, I appreciated the care and attention taken. This is a character study, on a large scale, connected by a single meaningful event. And yet, as we move backward and forward in time, we see how many events have influenced the lives of these few people, in a single town, and across the country. Action, while potentially fleeting in the novel, is thematically so important. The actions, or more often inaction of characters, has such profound consequences. This is a quick read, and I believe, ultimately a satisfying one.

Jul 18, 2016

Loved it. Like a meal with friends you don't want to end.

Jul 15, 2016

Beyond boring. Nothing happens. I was 92 pages in and put it down for good.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 05, 2016

A quick and compelling read, Did You Ever Have a Family is a well-rendered story of tragedy and family. Told from alternating perspectives, this novel is an easy read and does not grow stale.

ehbooklover May 26, 2016

3.5 stars. A character-driven story of loss, grief, and blame. It took me awhile to really get into this book because I found all of the different characters confusing and didn't really understand what their relationship to each other was. But the longer I read the book, the harder it was to stop reading it. Luckily, my patience paid off as all my questions were answered by the end.

Apr 21, 2016

This book really resonated with me concerning the different kinds of family one has. I was quite intrigued by the way the author intertwined the various characters & especially when he introduced new faces to us, which ultimately tied in to the story line. I was absorbed in the story & characters throughout the entire novel.

carolynv Mar 23, 2016

A powerful, moving book with unforgettable characters. A story about the impact of the wrong choices we make. A sad but ultimately uplifting story about overcoming our past and the will to go on. I really enjoyed this beautifully-written novel.

smc01 Mar 21, 2016

Just finished this amazing book with my chest filled with emotion and a lump in my throat. It's one of those books that I linger over after finishing it. So much to think about. These are characters who will stay with me for a long time. The writing is spare, elegant and wise and the story is compelling. A must read and an excellent book club pick. It's one of those books that I want to tell so many people to read.

Mar 02, 2016

A bunch of whiny, self-absorbed characters with crudely drawn motivations parade through clichéd terrain. The main message you glean from this book is to make sure your old appliances are replaced or repaired.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at CPL

To Top