Choose a novel where bereavement is a main theme. Explain how the author increases your understanding of the main characters grief and makes you engage and sympathise with them.
‘A Million Little Pieces’ by Jim Frey is a partially-fabricated memoir adapted from the writers own experiences. Compelling and controversial, the novel circulates around narrator and main character, 23year old drug addict and alcoholic James. The story unravels as James wakes up from a short term coma, having fallen down a fire escape whilst heavily intoxicated. His loved ones have seized control of his life in order to save it, and have checked him into a rehabilitation facility. The story is told in chronological order, as we follow James in his recovery. Though the physical reason for James being in rehab is his addiction to alcohol, crack cocaine and crystal-meth, we realise on further adaption of the plot that the real reason behind his stay is a much deeper and implicated matter, the cause is really the crushing guilt and devastation he feels having lost a very close friend, Michelle.
During the darkest points of his recovery, James talks to Michelle as though she is still alive and with each mention we begin to piece together an explanation of what happened to her, and how James’s feels about her premature passing.
“ I say I miss you. I wish you were here. My friends name is Michelle and I haven’t seen her in over a decade. I say you have been on my mind lately.”
James feels that Michelle was the only person in his life who believed in him and saw his potential. His family fail to understand him, growing up he was badly behaved and refuses all the help they offered him, which has led them to give up on him completely. So when Michelle is hit by a train and killed during an unauthorised date that James helped her lie to her parents about, he feels hugely responsible. Not only that but with no one to believe in him, he feels that he might as well conform to everybody’s...