A boy and his family

His Whole Life
By Elizabeth Hayes
McClelland & Stewart
Softcover, 361 Pages

A 10-year-old boy Jim learns about the struggle of life and what family, friends, nature and home mean to him. This deeply poignant story involves his Canadian mother and American father and a family friend Lulu. Jim is divided between his love of nature at the family cottage in the Muskoka’s and his homelife in his New York City apartment.

After a very unsettling experience at school, Jim asks his parents on his way to the cottage during an annual visit what is the worst thing they have done. This theme is continued throughout the book as Jim works through these pivotal years to resolve the competing love of his parents; a relationship between friends over family; and the conflict of siblings.

The author eloquently portrays the family unit and shows how jealousy and betrayal can tear apart a family. This story also relays how these family members learn to understand each other and move forward to forgive and carry on with their lives.