I finished reading The Punch by Noah Hawley a while ago. I meant to write this review immediately after I finished, but found I just couldn’t put my thoughts in order enough to do so at the time. I’m not sure what’s going to come out now, but here it goes…
The Punch is a very powerful book. It tackles the dysfunction that exists in almost every family. Granted Hawley uses extreme examples, but the confusion, guilt, and regret are feelings to which all of us can relate.
Then there are the mother and father. His description of their life view is one I found all too familiar. Here are two people who have been knocked around by life, found each other by some miracle, and end up not being able to live without each other.
But in their couplehood they forget to make room for their children. They are more concerned with their cigarettes and alcohol figuring that as long as their children are fed, clothed, and going to school they’ve done their job.
The children agree until they have their own children and realize there was a huge hole in their lives while they were growing up. Some of the things they experienced as children was just wrong, but they had no way of knowing it at the time. The parents on the other hand should have known and would have if they had been willing and able to lift themselves out of their alcoholic, nicotine haze long enough to actually see how their behavior was affecting their children.
There is so much to this novel that I can’t possibly do it justice here. So I am left with urging you to read it. It will make you uncomfortable at times, but it’s worth it. It will make you think and maybe stop to appreciate what you have.