Friday, July 24, 2020

97. A Reason To Be

A Reason To Be. Norman McCombs. 2020. 216 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence from chapter one: As a sunbeam broke through the crack in the floor-length windows of his Fifth Avenue brownstone, falling in a long, bright line across his bed, Douglas McCombs turned away and pulled the comforter up over his head. He was in no mood for such a glaring display of optimism. The nerve of the sun, daring to rise on yet another day.

Premise/plot: Douglas McCombs stars in Norman McCombs' A Reason To Be. Can this seventy-year-old man suffering from grief and depression find...a reason to be. For months he's barely-barely-barely had the will to get out of bed let alone live life. But after bumping--literally--into a librarian, he may just have an opportunity to live life again. He's equally interested in the lovely librarian, Suzy, AND doing genealogical research on the McCombs. The chapters alternate between the present and the past. His ancestors have chapters. One chapter per generation.

My thoughts: I knew this one would be a good match for me. It stars an older protagonist. One who has gone through a lot for years--care-taking for his wife suffering from dementia. He has an interest in family history and genealogy. He has an interest in a librarian. Both are allowed the opportunity to find love later in life and get second chances. The alternating chapters was great!!! What an incredible and creative idea. I am sure there are many, many, many genealogists who wish they were that creative and talented. I am sure the past has stories to tell us. But more often than not--it's not possible to find fully-fleshed stories in our family trees.

There is something achingly human about this one. I did get hooked. 

© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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