Eric Newborn is a successful self-help author and speaker. He is loved by his readers who have been helped by his “you can create your future” philosophy. They are devoted to him, having been helped by his “you control your destiny” mantra.
Then, Eric's destiny becomes one he cannot control. He is looking at a future he did not create.
Montemarano has crafted a unique novel. He intersperses pieces of Eric's present life and recent life with inspiring segments of Eric's teachings at self-help seminars. As the novel unfolds, we get glimpses into the relationship of Eric and his wife. We see bits of his childhood. And it is all enfolded into scenes from the present.
In addition to being a captivating, well written story, there are many issues brought up in the novel. Can we really create the future we want? Are there forces, or a Force, beyond us that determines our destiny, despite our best efforts?
This novel has a haunting quality to it. It certainly gives one pause to think about how much of our future we can plan for and make happen and how much is already mapped out for us.
(I felt the last third, or so, of the book lost a little focus, and was a bit dragging. Otherwise, it is great.)
I usually blog reviews of “Christian” books. This is not a “Christian” book but it certainly has themes and issues Christians would do well to read about and discuss.
Nicholas Montemarano is the author of a story collection and a previous novel. He is Associate Professor of English at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA.
Little, Brown and Company, 320 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.