October 28, 2017
We Won't Forget You Mr. McGillicuddy by Ira L. White
We Won’t Forget You Mr. McGillicuddy is a touching and relatable book about love and family written by Ira L. White.
Gilbert McGillicuddy is an eighty-nine year old World War II veteran suffering from dementia. He lives in Ancient Adult Singles Apartments a few blocks from where his son, Robert, lives. Robert, a widower just like his father, is a radical and passionate blogger who writes about politics, racism and poverty among other topics.
When Robert’s daughter Ruby gets pregnant and the baby’s father turns violent, Robert urges his daughter and his twelve-year old granddaughter Sapphire, to live with him. Together, they await the baby’s arrival, take care of Gil and try to make both ends meet.
Meanwhile, a vindictive former FBI informant, whose plans Robert foiled forty years ago, discovers Robert and his family’s whereabouts. Consumed by four decades of hate, the man schemes to exact revenge on Robert’s unsuspecting family.
Told in the third person perspective, this is a touching book that describes the struggle of an ordinary family to stay together and make do with what they have. It also portrays the dreadful mental illness, dementia, and how it affects not just the patient but the entire family. Moreover, the book paints a vivid picture of a family trying to get along despite the generation gap wedging them apart. Though I initially find the side stories irrelevant, I eventually begin to appreciate their inclusion and their significance to Robert.
The author successfully creates well-developed and relatable characters. Gil, the gregarious and charming war veteran who is gradually losing his memory; Robert, the radical blogger who fights for what he believes in; Ruby, the mother who wants what is best for her children; and Sapphire, the teenager who needs a father figure but finds her traditional grandfather too strict.
The best part of the book is the realistic depiction of an ordinary family trying to get by with how little they have and still manage to stay together and for each other in every challenging situation.
However, though the ending leaves a hopeful and optimistic feeling, I prefer a more definitive conclusion to the book.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed this book and I recommend it to readers who like stories about family and familial love.
Congratulations to Ira L. White (@irawhite11) on such a great book!
We Won’t Forget You Mr. McGillicuddy was an OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day on October 24th. You may check it out at Online Book Club.