“Whenever something bad happens to us… something good happens- often to someone else. And that’s The Good Luck of Right Now.” (p153)
There seems to be a theme brewing for 2014, at least for me, slowly evincing itself in what I’ve read these past two months- balance.
In The Good Luck of Right Now, Matthew Quick, also the author of The Silver Linings Playbook, tells a tale about the struggles of a middle-aged man dependent on his mother after she passes away from the “brain-cancer squid.” The story begins with Bartholomew Neil after the loss of his caregiver, exceedingly unsure of his identity especially after pretending to be Richard Gere for so long for the sake of his sick mother, and his path in life. So, he begins writing letters to the actual Richard Gere, telling the story of his life as it progresses, post-tragedy.
While not overly emotional, Bartholomew’s story tugs at just enough heart strings to make him endearing to the reader. I was taking this journey with him while drinking my coffee in the morning and into the wee hours of the night, reading just “one more” page again and again to get to the next letter, the next revelation of events. The non-traditional cast of essentially homeless and misfit characters, including a brother and sister who’ve had an encounter with aliens, a grief counselor, and a self proclaimed ex-priest, unexpectedly find a home in each other. They all have their own secrets to hide and they’ve all figured out how to pretend in their own way that things are normal and that everything is OK. When we inevitably discover that everything is not as it should be or what we think it is, we also learn that it is also OK to not be OK and that you can’t pretend forever.
The ending, though not necessarily fairytale-like, left me satisfied and happy with the evolution of the characters and plot. Everything comes full circle in the end, the perfect way to end a story beginning with such uncertainty and developing even more as the plot progresses. A friend of mine recommended this to me and though initially I wasn’t sure it was something I would have chosen on my own, I’m really glad I gave it a chance. This was honestly one of the best books I’ve read in the last few years. I highly, highly recommend it.
There were some parts that forced me to think about uncomfortable situations, about real life events, happenings, and circumstances that many of us are either lucky enough to be sheltered from in our every day lives or block them from our thoughts as they are mostly unpleasant, but Quick never dwelt on anything for long. Any mentioning of any unpleasant back story was just enough to get me thinking about how much these characters had to deal with and how lucky I am, even on my worst day. But, maybe that’s what Quick intended, maybe that’s The Good Luck of Right Now.
Happy Friday guys! Is anyone doing anything exciting this weekend? We have a pretty relaxed schedule and I’m really looking forward to it!
For anyone following along for this month’s book club, we’ll be talking about Sarah Addison Allen’s Lost Lake next Friday!
Shop The Good Luck of Right Now & The Silver Linings Playbook: