Joyous and diysfunctional: “The last of the Bowmans”

I first discovered “The last of the Bowmans”at my local library, and was initially drawn to the odd and slightly quirky family dynamic that reminded me so much of my own family. Written by J. Paul. Henderson, “The last of the Bowmans” depicts a man called Greg Bowman who, after years of estrangement is forced back into contact with his family, following the untimely death of his mild-mannered father, Lyle Bowman.

I loved the novel from the beginning: the antics of the characters catered perfectly to my sense of humour, from the first page — at Lyle’s funeral — when the priest, running out of things to say, attempts (disarstarously) to drag out his speech, to the hilariously inappropriate rendition of ‘oops I did it again’ that Greg’s niece, Katie Bowman chooses to perform (to the glee of her stage mum-esq mother and the displeasure of everyone else). Additionally, as the novel develops, we discover why it was that Greg decided to move half way across the world to escape his family, and the way it has disintegrated and fallen apart since his departure.

Overall, I felt that “The last of the Bowmans” wasn’t really a book where things happen — it wasn’t action packed or tense — but merely a comedic book about people and the way life can change drastically, if you don’t keep an eye on it. But mostly, it was a book about two brothers: Greg and Billy Bowman, and how, in spite of the fact that they were raised by the same parents in the same home, their lives took two completely different paths.

Image from: Google books

Written by, Maureen Tuyishime

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