One of my new years resolutions (there are several) is to read more. I love reading and I still do read quite a lot compared to a lot of people my age. However I want to break out of the bad habit of screens until bedtime and not reading due to academic guilt and to simply read a little bit before I go to bed.
I had this intention all well and good, ticking through Get Your Sh*t Together and Eat Pretty, Live Well until I came to The Reason You’re Alive. I started it at ten o’clock and finished it two hours later. So much for reading a little bit for bed?
But it was just that good and I got totally sucked into the storyline that I just didn’t want to wait until tomorrow night to read the resolution, I needed that sense of satisfaction now. It isn’t a large book but there are several chapters so I am still quite impressed at my reading speed.
So the details: The Reason You’re Alive is by Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook that I’ve also read. It follows the narrative of David Grayson, a Vietnam vet who after brain surgery, ends up on a bit of accidental path to redemption with several important people in his life. The Reason You’re Alive is narrated by David and this gives a more witty and black humour approach to the storyline.
I loved the accidental path of redemption – David didn’t wake up from brain surgery and have an epiphany that he had to make amends. It just kind of happened. One relationship repaired and it was the natural progression to amend another. Nothing about this book felt forced, it flowed so naturally and revealed just the right amount at each stage.
The most central factor is David making amends with a fellow soldier from the Vietnamese War as this is something that has haunted him since then. But this ties into other plot lines regarding his dead wife Jessica, his tense relationship with his son and his family and the new friendships he has now.
The simplicity of this book is what tied it all together and sung to me. The complexity of family relationships. The tension of differing view points and how to overcome them. And the relief that can be felt by letting go and moving on.
It was a joy to read.
I was gifted The Reason You’re Alive to review but all thoughts, views and opinions expressed in this review are my own. For further clarification, please read my full disclaimer here.
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