Violence by Richard Bausch

ViolenceAfter sauntering to my private and favorite spot in my neighbor’s garden, I was immediately transported into the “Violence” by Richard Bausch. I believe upon reading the quote by Theodore Roethke, you will discover that Bausch, too, realized that “. . . A man goes far to find out what he is.”

Okay, fellow book club readers, I believe that you too will find at least one semblance of your life in “Violence.” Do not get me wrong, not every family has childhood drama and/or trauma, internal conflicts, mother-son relationship issues, pride, in-law struggles, in pain because one is unable to matriculate from college because of unplanned and/or unwanted pregnancies, dead bodies strewn all in a run down hotel, and finally, metamorphic revelations. Nevertheless, all families long for times of better days … better times. In other words, peace!

“Violence” will take you on a roller coaster of emotions as the struggles of both Charles and Carol Connally establishes the tone for “Violence.” Needless to say, I enjoyed Charles’ mother’s journey, for she was crucial in restoring sanity in her son’s life. Charles is far from being a mommy’s boy, but in the end, he secretly craved her affection, and this was the ultimate source of his healing.

I recommend “Violence,” for it will help you understand the complexities of marriage. Bausch writes, “What were you going to do, Charles? Just let me keep going to work pregnant, paying for nothing –” She (Carol) broke off” (228).

The only negative responses are the 3 ‘typos’ as well as the limited role of Ms. Wu. While I found Ms. Wu’s mother warm, the use of racial stereotypes by Bausch made me ask, “What in the World is this man (Bausch) doing?”

Spend time in your garden, on the Oregon Coast, or in your favorite spot reading “Violence” by Richard Bausch.

Reviewed by Debbie

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