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So Many Ways to Begin by Jon McGregor
In So Many Ways to Begin, David Carter has always been a collector of mundane artifacts, finding the meaning and story behind them. As a boy in Coventry, he collected items from the war-torn city to arrange and display in his bedroom. As an adult, he becomes a curator in the municipal museum with dreams of one day opening his own museum. At 22, though, he accidentally discovers that he's adopted, a fact that completely unsettles his world and turns him against his adopted mother for a while. Over the years, he tries to find the woman listed on his hospital records, marries, has a daughter who eventually goes away to university. His life seems to have a hole missing in it without his mother, and he must find a way of piecing together his life like those lives he reconstructs in his museum. Jon McGregor's novel has received positive reviews (and a Booker nomination) with the London Times saying, "This is a decorous novel that rises on occasion to ardour, an intimate tale with penetrating things to say about the wider history of 20th-century Britain, about displacement and change, and about how a loss of continuity can be a gain in freedom."