Thursday, June 21, 2012

This Bright River by Patrick Somerville

Genre:  Fiction

Published by:  Little,Brown and Company

Pages:  Soft Cover

Rating:  4 JAGS


In Patrick Somerville’s new book, This Bright River, Ben Hanson is lost in life living aimlessly day to day- no carrier, no prospects, and no ambition. He is approached by his father to move back to the sleepy town of Ben’s youth, St. Helen’s, WI to take care of his recently deceased Uncle’s home. He accepts, and with that, memories of his childhood and the mysterious death of a cousin he left behind.

Lauren Sheehan, Ben Hanson’s formally estranged high school lab partner and formally Dr. Lauren Besco, has been divorced for four years from a man she thought she knew- and she too is lost in life living in St. Helen’s, WI.

As fate would have it, Ben and Lauren meet up again, and the self discovery begins. They drive from Madison to Milwaukee, and all over Wisconsin to learn the truth about Ben’s cousin, and in doing so, learn to unburden their lives and to look for a connection with honesty and trust. 

At exactly the 200th page, and I remember this because I glanced up to the top right, I silently asked myself; “Did I miss something?” I honestly imagined myself as a therapist as I read this story. Each time I opened this book, I felt like I was in an hour session with the main characters. Not to mention, they all had to have smoked a joint before coming to therapy.

 It felt like work. Something’s were funny and the story even made me feel nostalgic, but I felt better finishing This Bright River then I did starting it. The back drop of small town Wisconsin living was surprisingly accurate and comical. I would not purchase new, but wait for it on resale shelves…reduced resale shelves. Keep the gift receipt if you get it as a present.

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