And Sons, the novel by David Gilbert, opens at the funeral of one Charles Henry Topping. Within the walls of the church, A.N. Dyer, Charles’ best friend from childhood, awaits the fact that he is going to deliver a eulogy. This contributes to his reflecting back on his own life, and to the fact that he has been neglectful in many areas, especially with his three sons.
The story line can feel disconnected at times due to the fact that the narrator is the son of Topping. Topping’s son is the one revealing Dyer’s life. This in itself makes for a unique situation.
Set in New York City, with the upper echelons at a point of disconnect, the story is a one week trip through time, through memories and through explosive moments, as told by Phillip Topping. His narration regarding Dyer and Dyer’s family highlights the fascination the Toppings have for Dyer.
Dyer is an author of wide renown and popularity. His is considered an icon, a legend in his time.
And Sons is filled with familial forces that border on emotional disregard, through neglect and lack of fatherly demonstration of love. It is a book that is both humorous and sad, and one that can leave you laughing one minute, and angry the next.
David Gilbert is masterful with word imagery and with evoking the characters with their thoughts and feelings, as though he is inside their heads.
On a scale of 1-5, with five being the best, I rate And Sons: A Novel, 3.5 stars. The best part, for me, were the last 150 pages.