The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
Published: February 11, 2014Publisher: HarperPages: 304Received: for honest review via publisher for blog tour with TLC Book ToursCall 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.
Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events as meaningfully related, where they are unlikely to be causally related. The subject sees it as a meaningful coincidence, although the events need not be exactly simultaneous in time. (source)I adored this writing style - the story of Bartholomew trying to figure out his life after losing the one person who mattered to him, but written in letters to Richard Gere. He bares all of his deepest thoughts in these letters and figures out so much about himself along the way. I think he transitions from a slightly handicapped boy into a man who looks at the world in the best possible light.
Batholomew is a bit complicated - there is the side of him who worries that he really is that handicapped boy from high school, there is the beautiful part in him that took care of his ailing mother until she passed on, and there is the man who wants to figure out where he fits in among this new life he is meant to live, but isn't quite sure how to do it.
His journey into the next chapter of his life takes a few turns here and there, but I think he has a better grip on the world and people than most people in general. He thinks about repercussions, he cares about the people around him and would do anything to make them happy and he always looks at the bright side of things - The Good Luck of Right Now (when something bad happens, then something good happens to someone somewhere).
I love how he is in love with the Girlbrarian, but is too shy to speak to her and hopes that his alter ego Richard Gere will help him to talk to her and take her on a date. And how channeling Mr. Gere, he gains confidence and begins to meet new people and starts the new path of his life.
"To change our lives we must first acknowledge that our present situation is not satisfactory." - Dalai Lama (pg. 79)He figures out who his father is, makes new friends, helps people in need and lets go of the past all within the letters to Richard Gere - his mother's favourite movie star and his new confidant.
Through all of his ups and downs, he begins to collect people in a sense to create his own version of family. In the end, this is the thing that means the most to me about the book, it's not necessarily blood relatives that make up a family, but people who care about one another and you can lean on in the good and bad times.
"It felt comforting, just having people around me - like being wrapped in a warm blanket with a cup of hot chocolate in your hands during a fierce winter night." (pg. 203)If you are looking for a book about moving on, about family, about finding your way in life - this is the book for you.
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