Our Love Could Light The World is a collection of short stories that offer an insight into an American family that struggles with life, alcohol, disappointments and love. Each chapter reveals a bit more of the characters in the book, their relationships with each other and above all, the deep ties of family that hold them together.
The stories progress over time as we meet Angie, an awkward, overweight teenager who tries to find her way into adulthood and steers for a career in helping people who end up in far more dysfunctional situations than she ever experienced in her own, chaotic family. It also follows Lavinia, who leaves her husband Potter in the very first story for Chip, an older, wealthier man. But will she find with him what she was looking or does she settle for luxury over happiness? And there’s Potter himself, who with the occasional aid of his sister Patty, battles his alcoholism. The other children feature in minor plots.
The stories are written in a light, easy tone that belies the sometimes difficult subjects it deals with. Its characters manage to find a way into the reader’s heart, despite their flaws, mistakes and dysfunctional relationships. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and it fits perfectly in a busy schedule where you can spend half an hour reading a complete story and add to the vivid canvas of the lives of the Dugans and their extended family.
The book explores themes of sex, alcoholism and abuse as well as uses a generous amount of swear words that may not appeal to every reader.