Staff Pick this week contributed by Megan. If you’re looking for your next read, this one definitely should be a contender!
All of Us Together in the End
By Matthew Vollmer
“When I first picked this book up from the “Staff Picks” shelf of a Portland bookstore (you’ll never catch me turning down the opportunity to roam the shelves of an indie bookseller no matter how much time I spend in one on the clock) I wasn’t quite sure what genre to file it into in my brain. The synopsis starts with the death of the author’s mother, then the introduction of inexplicable flashing lights in the woods behind his grieving father’s home – suddenly I’m coercing mystery, religiosity, paranormalcy, even perhaps extraterrestrial contact into my expectations of what I might find in this book alongside grief, loss, and familial connection.
Entrancing from the start, Vollmer’s memoir brings all these ideas together in a compassionate exploration of things that we believe – or might believe, or stop believing – when faced with loss, tough questions, and unexplainable mysteries. The prose is lyrical yet unpretentious, allowing empathy and curiosity to guide father and son’s process of grieving, rebuilding, and truth finding.
“All of Us Together in the End” is a beautiful read and well-deserving of its spot on that Portland Staff Picks shelf, as well as, now, on my own here at Back of Beyond.”
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