Hello, and welcome to A Librarian’s Library, today’s stop on The Good Luck of Right Now TLC Blog Tour! I am excited to be a part of my first official blog tour! I am one of the MANY stops for this tour, so please be sure to check out all the other great blogs using the link!
Without further ado, Here is my review.
Title/Author: The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
Genre: Adult Fiction, Contemporary/Realistic Fiction, Psychological Fiction
Published: February 11th, 2014 by Harper
ARC, 284 pages
How I Got This Book: Received an ARC as part of this blog tour
Why I Picked It Up?: Honestly, I just read Quick’s Forgive Me Leonard Peacock (My reaction post here) and really loved his connection to characters. So I couldn’t wait to delve into another one of his books! When I was offered the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour, I jumped at the chance!
Book Jacket Blurb: “For thirty-eight years, Bartholomew Neil has lived with his mother. When she gets sick and dies, he has no idea how to be on his own. His redheaded grief counselor, Wendy, says he needs to find his flock and leave the nest. But how does a man whose whole life has been grounded in his mom, Saturday mass, and the library learn how to fly?
Bartholomew thinks he’s found a clue when he discovers a “Free Tibet” letter from Richard Gere hidden in his mother’s underwear drawer. In her final days, mom called him Richard–there must be a cosmic connection. Believing that the actor is meant to help him, Bartholomew awkwardly starts his new life, writing Richard Gere a series of highly intimate letters. Jung and the Dalai Lama, philosophy and faith, alien abduction and cat telepathy, the Catholic Church and the mystery of women, are all explored in his soul-baring epistles. But mostly the letters reveal one man’s heart-breakingly earnest attempt to assemble a family of his own.
A struggling priest, a “Girlbrarian,” her feline-loving, foul-mouthed brother, and the spirit of Richard Gere join the quest to help Bartholomew. In a rented Ford Focus, they travel to Canada to see the cat Parliament and find his biological father…and discover so much more.”
“See us through the riddles of our individual lives and help us see the beauty of our…perpetually stumped nature. Amen.” (pg 121)
I fell in love with Matthew Quick’s writing style with Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. The way that he writes introspective narration is just captivating, and I was looking forward to reading another unique and real character tell his story.
Here’s my one drawback–and I want to go ahead and just get it out in the open right up front. The book jacket blurb (at least on my ARC copy) is extremely misleading. I read this blurb and thought it was going to be a roadtrip-quest book. It was not. Yes, they go roadtrip , but they don’t do that until the last 50 pages. So I think that made it hard for me to get into this story at first….because I was waiting for the literal quest to start, and it just didn’t until well after I was involved in the story. So, just know that going into it. The focus of this story is not a literal roadtrip quest–but it is still a quest story, of sorts.
Now that is out of the way, I can get to the good stuff!
Bartholomew’s narration is really interesting. He is a really intriguing person to be in the mind of. His tone of voice is light yet you know there is more behind the letters he writes. To be honest, as a reader, I cannot discern if he is a reliable narrator or not. And that is part of the intrigue of this narrative. He writes his letters to Richard Gere because he feels a spiritual connection to him through the Dalai Lama and fortune cookies. And he also writes exactly how he thinks and processes things in his head, which makes for interesting conversations to say the least. The portrayal of mental illness is realistic, and it actually allows readers to get a glimpse at the inner monologues that many people have to overcome on a daily basis.
But for all of Bartholomew’s faults, he is truly a character that you begin to care about. With every letter he writes, you feel what he feels, you understand where he is coming from, and you hope and pray that The Good Luck of Right Now works in his favor for once.
And then you have the supporting cast of characters, who range from overbearing and slightly uncomfortable to vulgarly endearing. I think the interesting thing about this story is how Mr. Quick has created characters that all seem to have it together in Bartholomew’s mind, and slowly but surely they are torn down throughout the course of this novel. But not in a destructive way–just in a realistic, every one struggles, every one has flaws, every one is real kind of way. There are moments of pure, indescribable beauty that happen in this world, and Mr. Quick makes sure that you catch little glimpses of them.
This is the story about Bartholomew’s quest to figure out how to live in a world without his mother. Along the way, he meets some interesting characters that become a part of this greater journey. Everyone has a role to play, and everyone you meet plays a part of your life, even if that part is seemingly insignificant. Synchronicity at its finest.
“Flowers just grow, and when it is time, they shoot colors out of their stems and become beautiful. I am no more beautiful than I was when Mom was alive, but I feel as though I am a fist opening, a flower blooming, a match ignited, a beautiful mane of hair loosened from a bun–that so many things previously impossible are now possible.” (pg 111)
The more that I have thought about this book in order to review it, the more that I realize that I truly enjoyed the story that was told, once I realized that it wasn’t quite what I thought it was going to be. Stories can surprise you, sometimes. Just go with it.
My Bookshelf Rating:
A really surprising read. I really didn’t think I was going to end up liking it as much as I did. This book grows on you just like the characters grow on you. It is quirky, it is flawed, and that’s why it is endearing. Bartholomew is a truly unique narrator. He definitely offers a unique perspective on life and living and coping with all life deals you.
Synchronicity, everyone. 😉
Thank you, TLC Tours, for inviting me to participate in this tour and providing me with a copy of this book. And thank you, Mr. Quick, for writing a book that really made me think!
Love and Strawberry Smoothies,