Just finished the book Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas for my online book club, From Left to Write. As a member of From Left to Write I received a free copy of the book for review purposes. We don't actually review the book, instead we write a blog post inspired by something in the book. Barracuda is a novel where former Olympic hopeful Dan destroys his swimming career and his attempt at redemption after prison.
After reading the book I had not one thought about what to write about. I didn't really enjoy reading the book and wondered what I was missing. So I logged into my Goodreads account and read several reviews by different people and realized that several people felt like me about the book, so that made me feel better.
One of the things that I did notice in the story-line is how important family is. In my life I've had several ups and downs. Times when I was so happy I had to share it with someone and times when I was so down and devastated that I needed someone by my side to provide comfort, love and safety and in all those times it has been family.
Whether they were there to teach me right from wrong, like my maternal grandmother who once reprimanded me for tossing the car keys to my mom when she asked for them. My grandmother very sternly advised me that I was being disrespectful and to never throw anything to or at my parents and made me go get the keys from my mother, walk back to her and then walk back to my mother and hand them to her.
Or whether they were there to give me advice about life and the choices we make, like my paternal grandfather who gave me the best advice I've ever received when I was married and torn between ending my marriage to an abusive man or staying for the sake of my children and because of my Catholic faith. My grandfather told me, "Mejor sola que mal acompanda." Better alone than in bad company.
When I got sick with Cancer several years ago, it was my family that was by my side. I remember my brother Fred, when I told him I was going to have surgery he asked me for the date so he could ask his boss for the time off. I told him he didn't have to take the time off, that I would be fine and that my mom and dad, my sister Lisa, my daughter April and my son James would all be there. He said, "Are you kidding? I am going to be there too! Alicia, sometimes you don't wake up from the anesthesia." At the time I thought that was a very depressing thing to hear, but later I realized that if that was going to be my last day on this earth, then the last few minutes would have my brother Fred in it, because he loved me and nothing else mattered more to him that day.
Through all the trials and tribulations that Dan/Danny went through in the book, his family was there to love and support him, even when he didn't appreciate them, when he was downright mean and nasty to them, when he cared only about himself and they were just bit players the in life of Danny, they were still there for them, because family loves you for the rest of your life, no matter what!