Author: A.M. Homes
Richard Novak is functionally dead and doesn’t even notice until two incidents conspire to hurl him back into the world. This novel is about compassion, transformation, and what can happen if one is open to possibilities.
GEMS: When I read the synopsis again, I cannot help but think that it doesn’t do this incredible book justice. I am so glad that this was my last book of 2009 because it was the `grand finale!’ The honest manner through which Homes examines mid-life, not only by way of Richard Novak, but also in the other characters, including the females, is outstanding. Thematically it moved me, the humor kept me interested, and the content inspired self-examination. The story is set in the hills above LA and begins when Richard Novak notices a sink hole in his yard. At the same time he feels pain and thinks, ‘this is IT.’ He calls 911 and the fantastical awakening that ensues is a humorous journey that will make you both cry and laugh at the same time. I don’t want to say too much more and give anything away, but this book is truly a MUST read. Please, if you must pick up a book in 2010, make it this one!
FLAWS: I can’t find any flaws in the content or story, which leads me to break one of my own rules–to comment on format and marketing. The only downfall of this book that I see is the cover and synopsis. I don’t think it attracts the wide audience that I know this story can appeal to. The title alone should be enough to spark attention, but I’m afraid the not the case, and because of this many people will miss out on reading a fabulous novel. Also, the synopsis refers to Richard Novak, who is the main character, but there is one other very important female character in the story that deserves mentioning and by doing so, might draw in female readers. She is an under appreciated mother and wife who is driven to the extreme in order to recognize her self worth again. She is a likable, flawed and attractive character that greatly contributes to the story’s memorable experience.
Bitsy’s Rating: 5 Stars