Epilogue is a grief memoir, as Will Boast’s mother, brother and father all die in quick succession while he is in college. The book focuses mostly on his relationship with his father and the discovery that there Boast has two half-brothers from his father’s prior marriage. The opening chapter where he describes his father’s death is haunting and very compelling writing, as his father’s life-long refusal to complain or show pain results in him refusing to call for help and dying alone in his car from an ulcer. You can tell that Boast is a trained fiction writer because his prose is lyrical and interesting to read, and he has a more literary viewpoint. The themes of loss, grief, anger, and grappling with family legacy are woven throughout.
However, a theme in my reviews lately is getting annoyed at the author, and I continued this trend here. I found him to be extremely self-pitying — part of this is because he’s in the viewpoint of his younger self and how he reacted to his newfound brothers, so hopefully he’s matured since then. But he seems to be in a struggle for the memory of his father with them, and reacts at first like they’re his enemies and are trying to hurt him. He acknowledges this himself throughout the book, but there were lots of moments where he is so edgy and rude to them that it was upsetting and stressful to read. I also wanted to know how their relationship grew and progressed over the years, and how it is now, but he doesn’t go into anything beyond their initial few meetings. I was left with only the impression that he was still feeling uncertain about their potential family ties despite their openhearted kindness to him. I think there are probably better memoirs about grief to read, as this one spent most of the time describing the initial upheaval and subsequent acting out/despair, without a real look at any potential growth or repair.