We’re All Damaged by Matthew Norman

Andy Carter does go home again, and he has a boatload of messes to clean up.were-all-damaged

Moving to New York City from Omaha to live in a miniscule apartment and work as a “third-favorite” bartender is a relief to Andy.  After all, his wife divorced him, and he has alienated friends and family alike in the aftermath of his breakup.  Let’s not even talk about his best friend’s wedding reception.

When Andy learns that his grandfather is dying, he returns home to face reality.  His mother has gained some local notoriety for being an outspoken host of a right-wing radio show, his father has retired and feels completely restless, and his older brother, family man and overachiever, manages to annoy Andy the minute he steps off the plane.  The saddest thing is that his grandfather, to whom Andy was close, is so far gone with medications that he barely recognizes Andy.

It’s kind of obvious that Andy has some self-esteem issues.  Except for obsessing on his ex-wife, Andy is rudderless, a well-meaning oaf who wants to do better by family and friends.  By chance, he meets Daisy, a tattooed opinionated young lady who provides Andy some needed backbone and a friendship that almost turns into something more.  With prodding from Daisy, he tries to patch things up (sometimes really badly) with all involved and establish his place in the world.

Oh, if only Daisy wasn’t hiding something.

We’re All Damaged puts the “fun” in dysfunctional and gives it a dizzying spin.  You’ll pull for Andy as he makes amends and groan when he stumbles – a lot.  Andy is often clueless, but he’s not a bad sort, and you’ll want a happy ending for him, assuming that he ever gets there.

Watch out for painted squirrels and the Glitter Mafia.

(William Hicks, Information Services)


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