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Love May Fail – Matthew Quick

Love May Fail - Matthew Quick

Love May Fail – Matthew Quick

I loved reading The Good Luck of Right Now it was one of my favourite books of 2014 and so I was super-keen to read this one. I even managed to find a copy at the Rottnest General Store.

Here is the blurb …

Portia Kane is having a meltdown. After escaping her ritzy Florida life and her cheating pornographer husband, she finds herself back in South Jersey, a place that remains largely unchanged from the years of her unhappy youth. Lost and alone, looking for the goodness she believes still exists in the world, Portia sets off on a quest to save the one man who always believed in her—and in all of his students: her beloved high school English teacher, Mr. Vernon, who has retired broken and alone after a traumatic classroom incident.

Will a sassy nun, an ex-heroin addict, a metal-head little boy, and her hoarder mother help or hurt Portia’s chances on this quest to resurrect a good man and find renewed hope in the human race? Love May Fail is a story of the great highs and lows of existence: the heartache and daring choices it takes to become the person you know (deep down) you are meant to be.

Mr Quick is one of the only authors I know who writes about mental illness in a funny and generous manner. I didn’t like this one as much as The Good Luck of Right Now, hardly surprising given how much I liked that one. Portia ultimately just seemed whiny. I wanted her to just leave poor Mr Vernon alone. This novel is about being kind and looking after each other, but it didn’t really work for me and I was a bit disappointed.

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The Good Luck of Right Now – Matthew Quick

The Good Luck of Right Now - Matthew Quick

The Good Luck of Right Now – Matthew Quick

I am not sure where I fist heard of this book – maybe here – but having loved The Silver Linings Playbook movie, I was quite keen to read this.

Call it fate. Call it synchronicity. Call it an act of God. Call it . . . The Good Luck of Right Now. From the New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook comes an entertaining and inspiring tale that will leave you pondering the rhythms of the universe and marveling at the power of kindness and love.

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 heartbreakingly 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.

This novel is funny, quirky, serious and (dare I say it) heart-warming! It is written as a series of letters that Bartholomew is writing to Richard Gere. His mother was a huge Richard Gere fan and towards the end of her life (she had a brain tumour) she started to call Bartholomew Richard and he played along with it because it made her happy and it provided him with extra confidence to face the world. He writes to Richard about his life, how he is coping with his mother’s death, the people he meets – Wendy the grief councillor, Father McNamee, the girlbrarian, the girlbraian’s brother who he coincidentally meets at group therapy and finally the adventure they all go on together to visit cat parliament and St Joseph’s Oratory. This might not sound like much, but the writing is fabulous – Bartholomew’s voice is amazing, naive, but with the canny knack of revealing more than he knows.

I was reminded of The Rosie Project, but this is more edgy.

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