“In The War for Gloria” by Atticus Lish (Knopf)
“In The War for Gloria” by Atticus Lish, Gloria is the single mother of Corey. While she struggles to make ends meet, it is clear Gloria will do anything for her son. The two love one another fiercely, but their universe shatters when Gloria is diagnosed with ALS. At 15 Corey is forced to figure out how to care for his mother both physically and financially as her health deteriorates. Meanwhile, Corey’s estranged father, Leonard, moves in with them to help care for Gloria.
Corey and Leonard’s relationship quickly grows tense as it becomes clear to Corey that Leonard is not a good man and may even be dangerous. As Gloria’s condition worsens, the clash between father and son continues to intensify.
“The War For Gloria” is a force, an epic coming-of-age tale filled with pain, heartache, fear and undying love. When you think the story might turn one direction, it turns another. But what remains steadfast throughout is Corey’s devotion to his mother, his guttural need to do all he can to protect her. It is, however, a very long read, and at times, the story feels slow. But on the whole, Lish has crafted a compelling tale filled with complex and at times, frightening characters that will keep you intrigued.