Saturday, March 13, 2010

Giveaway of Apologize, Apologize by Elizabeth Kelly

Valerie and Hatchette Book Group are sponsoring a giveaway of Apologize, Apologize by Elizabeth Kelly.

About the Book, courtesy of the Publisher:
Apologize, Apologize! takes us into the perversely charmed world of the Flanagans and their son, Collie (His parents named him after their favorite breed of dog.) Collie comes of age on Martha's Vineyard, trying to make sense of his wildly wealthy, hyper-articulate, resolutely crazy family members: a philandering father, incorrigible brother, pigeon-racing uncle, radical activist mother, and a domineering media mogul grandfather (accused of being a murderer by Collie's mother). As Collie searches for his place in the world, he suffers insurmountable loss and grapples for bravery as he struggles to cope with people he has no choice but to love.

About the Author:
Elizabeth Kelly is a magazine editor and award-winning journalist with several Canadian National Magazine Awards and nominations to her credit. Her writing has appeared in many prominent Canadian newspapers and magazines. Her column work was selected to appear in the 2003 edition of Writing Prose, Oxford Press.

Check out the Reading Group Guide.

Reading Group Guide:

  1. Throughout this account of Collie Flanagan's life (so far), he appears to be the only conventional - or perhaps even sane - member of his family. However, the novel is told from his perspective. Do you feel like you can trust what he's saying?
  2. What do you think of Collie's mother? Does she seem to have lived a life of passion or is she defined only by her rebellion against her aristocratic roots?
  3. Should Collie have gone in after Bingo and the others, knowing as he did that there was no hope?
  4. In one interview, Elizabeth Kelly referred to Bingo as "representative of full-blown adolescence, but in all its glory," and as something of a heroic character as well. What do you make of him?
  5. Elizabeth Kelly has clearly had a lot of fun creating the hilarious and often manic characters at the heart of the novel. How did you react to the various Flanagan family blowouts? Did you more often cringe or laugh out loud?
  6. Talk about the role of money in this novel: who has it and who doesn't; how it can be a motivator, or stunt one's ambitions; how it insulates the Flanagans, yet forces them into the limelight; and so on.
  7. "Dignity is the last refuge of scoundrels," Collie's father was known to say, and he certainly was one to put himself into undignified positions, despite his charm and sharp clothes. What do you make of him as a man, and as a father?
  8. Who is your favorite character in this novel, and why?
  9. Collie and Bingo have a relationship that's not always straightforward, yet at its heart is a strong sibling love. What does each expect, and receive (or not), from the other?
  10. What was Collie hoping to achieve in El Salvador? Did he change as a result of his experiences there?
  11. What are Collie Flanagan's personal strengths? Were there small events that stood out for you as monumental in terms of proving his character?
  12. More than any other member of the Flanagans, Collie has a close -- if complex -- relationship with his grandfather, Peregrine Lowell. Why is that so? How has their relationship developed by the end of the novel?
  13. The Flanagans inhabit a world of elite privilege, yet are so self-absorbed you can't help but wonder whether they'd even notice if the rest of humanity ceased to exist. Does Collie rise above all that, or is he just like the rest of them?
  14. Collie's father has knack for showing up wildly drunk for even the most staid of events, including the funerals held for his wife and son. Talk about how his disappearances and arrivals function in the novel.
  15. Whenever anyone talks to Collie about the events of the day Bingo and his mother died, they always get the details wrong. What is Kelly saying about living up to the expectations of others in this novel? Should Collie have stood up for himself more often?
  16. The Flanagans are a wild and wildly humorous bunch, and even their seemingly unwarranted jabs at Collie are terrific. Discuss the role of cutting humor and over-the-top judgment in the novel.
  17. At the end of the novel, Collie appears to have come to terms with his family, or at least seems to have achieved some measure of peace. What does the future hold for Collie Flanagan?


To enter please just share why you'd like to win this book.

1. Please include your email address, so that I can contact you if you win. No email address, no entry.
2. You must be a follower to join the contest.

The contest is limited to US and Canada only. No P.O. boxes. The contest ends at noon on April 15, 2010.

Thank you so much to Valerie and Hatchette Book Group for sponsoring this giveaway!


  1. I'm a follower. I'd like to win because the book sounds like one I'd truly enjoy.


  2. This looks like an intriguing read, and great for summer. Please enter me!

    I'm a follower.

    BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

  3. sounds like a great read - love to read about the wild and crazy family, might make my own seem less eccentric lol

    wendyhines (at) hotmail (dot) com

    I'm a follower

  4. I'd love this. I follow


  5. This sounds good. Can't live with your family and family and you can't live without them!



  6. I want to read this one because it sounds like it's really inspiring.


  7. Please enter me. Thanks for the chance. I follow.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  8. I'd like to read this because the characters sound like they are wild and humorous!

  9. I would like to win Apolizgie,Apoligize because it sounds like it's from a dying genre(literary fiction),I would like to collect it for my classroom library.

  10. Would love to read this! Please enter my name. Thank you.

    I am an email subscriber/Google followers.

    cyeates AT nycap DOT rr DOT com

  11. I love to try new authors. I follow.

    simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

  12. This sounds like quite an interesting family. The author is trying to find his place in the world, he suffers insurmountable loss and grapples for bravery as he struggles to cope with people he has no choice but to love. As it is said, you can pick your friends but you can't pick your family. Please enter me.

    Thank you,


  13. I saw this book on Amazon and it quickly caught my eye. I'd love to try it because I love stories about wildly quirky families, I have one too. ;)

    Google Friend Connect follower, name is Bani.

    wakeupangel at gmail dot com

  14. I'd love this one. It sounds "quirky", and I love quirky! And people who name their kids after dogs!

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

  15. I want to read this book for so many reasons - the dysfunctional Irish-Catholic family, that Collie is named after a breed of dog, and the many & diverse eccentric members of this family are just a few! This book sounds extremely entertaining but also very touching (I hope!)

    Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

  16. This sounds great. I would love to read it. I follow on gfc.

  17. I'd like to read this book because it sounds like an interesting family :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

  18. Honestly, the cover alone has caught my eye. It is something that I would pick up and start reading without checking out the back cover description first...I do the same with movies too. Thanks for the chance. bekki1820cb at gmail

  19. i want to win cause i love reading

  20. This is such a different theme from what I would normally read - it really sounds good

    I'm a follower
    msboatgal at

  21. This sounds like a great book. I am a follower


  22. I would like to win this because it sounds like an interesting family.

    rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

  23. I'm a follower!

    dcf_beth at verizon dot net

  24. Please include me!
    dcf_beth at verizon dot net

  25. This sounds like a great book, and I would like to enter to win!

  26. Thank you for the chance to win a great book!

  27. Sounds fascinating. Please enter me in your giveaway!

  28. I would like to win this book because it looks really interesting. I am a follower.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  29. I'm a follower, this sounds really good
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

  30. I would like to pair it with Cather In The Rye, so that my students can produce a comparative analysis of the author's treatment of the upperclass archetype.
    GFC follower.

  31. I have heard good things about this book so now I am interested in reading it. I am a follower.
    email bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

  32. I would love to win! Thanks for the giveaway!

    jeffintennessee at gmail dot com

  33. This sounds like an excellent read. Thanks for the chance!
    I am a follower.

  34. I would like to win this book, because it sounds interesting but very odd. Like to see how it turns out. Please enter me. Thanks!

    I am a follower!


  35. It sounds like an interesting book. I like that it takes place in Martha's Vineyards.
    jentam777 AT gmail DOT com

  36. I am a follower


    I have heard great things about this book!

  37. Jeez, it sounds like my family...I need to read it just to see if it it actually is! :)

    mckelly74 at gmail dot com