Bad News by Edward St. Aubyn, he was just boarding a plane, with his father's ashes in hand and his next drug binge scheduled. Miraculously, 8 years later, Patrick is still alive for the third book of the series, Some Hope.
In Some Hope, we revisit almost every single character from Bad News and the first book in the series, Never Mind. Bridget, who was dating one of Patrick's father's friends in Never Mind is now married to someone else, and hosting a party for Princess Margaret. Everyone who Bridget knows seems to be invited, which is how St. Aubyn arranges the character reunion. I tore through Some Hope, and really enjoyed catching up with people who I remembered from 8 and 25 years earlier.
St. Aubyn released Some Hope two years after first two books. He then released the three together, as a trilogy two years later, and I think that it was his intention to end it there. It is widely known, and St. Aubyn has admitted, that Patrick Melrose is based on St. Aubyn's life. At one point in Some Hope, Patrick tells his best friend that he had been raped by his father as a child. Patrick is hoping that by telling someone, (not a therapist but a real person) the truth, that he will feel a catharsis. Instead, he is somewhat let down that he didn't feel the relief that he expected. In publishing Some Hope, I think that St. Aubyn was looking for the same. He hoped that by telling the story, and wrapping up all of the loose ends, he would be able to move on with his life.
Unfortunately, one loose end had completely unraveled. Patrick's mother, Eleanor, was not a guest at Bridget's party, and was hardly mentioned. The fourth book in the series is called Mother's Milk. My hunch going in is that St. Aubyn realized that he wouldn't find his peace until he dealt with all of his issues, including his mother. We'll get to that topic, and that book, shortly.
WINNER ANNOUNCED! The Winner of the My Education giveaway is Deborah!
Next up: The Last Life by Claire Messud
Still Listening to: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen