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I Know This Much Is True This novel begins with a paranoid schizophrenic mans sacrificial amputation on behalf of God and peace This well-crafted character-driven novel maintains that edgy discomfort throughout This isnt escapist fiction its better drawing you into a convoluted web of twins fatherhood love and mental instability it demanding emotional involvement The story revolves around Dominick Birdsey the sane twin responsible for his schizophrenic mirror image Tomas The author Wally Lamb creates Dominick with such complexity and so much baggage that hes not entirely easy to like I could sympathize with his challenges having dealt with mentally ill siblings myself but the characters incredible resentment over his deathbed promise to his mother and her favoritism toward his weaker brother drives emotional out-bursts and seemingly irrational behaviors His introspective self-discovery seems to dismantle all that he is and bare a soul who ultimately will discover not only his true roots but his destiny and calling in life The novel focuses on the 40-year-old twins born in the waning moments of 1949 and the opening moments of 1950 Lamb leads you through the widely vacillating saga of Dominicks quest to have his brother released from a full security mental hospital and entrusting into his care Their current relationship with their reluctant emotional-bystander of a stepfather Ray who finds himself up-to-bat before he has ever learned the game epitomizes the ultimate triumph of the family We marvel as Ray the by-the-belt jackass of a step dad evolves to become a father for the first time The plot revealed through flashbacks therapy sessions and their grandfathers egocentric autobiography incorporates five generations into a revealing family portrait layered with abuse and varying degrees of mental instability The similarities between Dominicks life and that of his grandfather Domenico are startling and at times sickening but always compelling I Know This Much Is True Lambs second novel and by far the better is developed with such intricacies it
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