May We Be Forgiven

May We Be Forgiven

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Winner of the 2013 Women's Prize for Fiction--A darkly comic novel of twenty-first-century domestic life by a writer who is always "compelling, devastating, and furiously good" (Zadie Smith)

Harold Silver has spent a lifetime watching his younger brother, George, a taller, smarter, and more successful high-flying TV executive, acquire a covetable wife, two kids, and a beautiful home in the suburbs of New York City. But Harry, a historian and Nixon scholar, also knows George has a murderous temper, and when George loses control the result is an act of violence so shocking that both brothers are hurled into entirely new lives in which they both must seek absolution.

Harry finds himself suddenly playing parent to his brother's two adolescent children, tumbling down the rabbit hole of Internet sex, dealing with aging parents who move through time like travelers on a fantastic voyage. As Harry builds a twenty-first-century family created by choice rather than biology, we become all the more aware of the ways in which our history, both personal and political, can become our destiny and either compel us to repeat our errors or be the catalyst for change.

May We Be Forgiven is an unnerving, funny tale of unexpected intimacies and of how one deeply fractured family might begin to put itself back together.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2012
ISBN: 9780147509703
Branch Call Number: FIC Home
Characteristics: 480 p. ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 17, 2018

Fiction, and fun and too long and money gets you through it all!

nicolalutte Sep 29, 2014

I must say I did not enjoy this book and found it had too many sub stories that did not add to the story as a whole. Character development was also not good.

Jan 04, 2014

Yes, this novel won the Women's Fiction Prize (Orange). Yes, this novel is very funny, sometimes laugh out loud funny. And I get that it is about the impact of technology in creating a disassociated social world. And that it is about the disintegration of the nuclear family and the creation of the modern family. But it is too long. And do we need another book about suburban, middle class New England?

Oct 12, 2013


Aug 11, 2013

I did not enjoy this all! The story was so disjointed...I spent the entire time trying to figure out the relevance of the subplots.

Jul 05, 2013

P. 162

Jun 05, 2013

Winner of the 2013 Women's Prize for Fiction.

Jun 02, 2013

Fantastic read. One man drifting through life before an act of violence makes him confront the way he lives his life, his relationship to his family and others. In the end tragedy makes him grow up and live his life.

ksoles Mar 18, 2013

Within the first 50 pages of A.M. Homes' ambitious and enthralling new novel, one man has gone mad, been institutionalized, escaped, found his brother in bed with his wife and murdered the latter with a lamp. The remaining 450 pages of "May We Be Forgiven" play with the substance of the American dream and give the reader a horrific, internet-age deconstruction. Sexual encounters, suspicions, medications and desensitized teenagers abound and a fast-paced, unwordy and direct narrative move the novel along without ever breaking stride.

Each character seeks some kind of relationship: a female teacher finds comfort in an 11-year-old, two senile seniors nurse dolls as if they were children. And yet nobody really knows how to connect with others in a true manner. As the protagonist muses, “The loss of the human touch scares me.” Ultimately, the novel proves that peace exists amongst community and participation; we cannot be human without being joined to someone.

Jan 24, 2013

That May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes hits the ground hard and running from the opening pages will let you know quickly if you have the intestinal fortitude and heart to continue. The book launches immediately into the first and most visceral of a series of insanely horrible things that happen to a family in less than a year. The sequence of woe is so over the top at times that it seems like a macabre, Tarantinoesque cartoon of violence and perversity. Running parallel to the gutwrenching but - it must be said - often darkly hilarious mayhem, parts of May We Be Forgiven are also lyrically wonderful testaments to spirit, optimism, resilience and forging new family structures out of the ashes of old ones.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at NWPL

To Top