March to November
Seanchai Books (2014)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (1/15)
“March to November” by Byddi Lee tells the story of five key people whose lives are intertwined with each other. As the title indicates, an eight month period in their lives is covered. These eight months are critical to all who are involved because while some lives are brought together, others are torn apart. Betrayal plays a key role in the outcome of the lives of all involved. The past also invades the present as it becomes apparent that each person is heavily influenced by incidents that occurred during their childhoods, and by their relationships with their parents. For one in particular, the group is disheartened to watch him turn into his father, who was the man that he despised and defended his family from while growing up.
This man is key to the drama in the story because he is tied to the wife he left, the mistress he gained, the child he created, the sister who felt betrayed and the wife’s cousin who used to be his best friend. His behavior leaves his friends and family trying to regroup and hold their relationships together. Because of his complicated past with his family, the author does an excellent job of making us despise him one moment and pitying him the next.
The ending left me stunned. The story developed an unexpected twist that was a total surprise. It was not the outcome that I was expecting. This made the novel seem even more real, because in life we never know what is around the corner.
I really enjoyed reading “March to November.” Byddi Lee did an exceptional job of pulling me into her story and making me feel like her characters were real. She skillfully pulls us into the thoughts of each person so we can see the world through their eyes, even if we don’t particularly like what we are seeing. She also adds touches of humor that keep things from getting too dark. I think this would be an excellent selection for a reading group.