Monday, September 19, 2011

You Never Know by Lilian Duval

Pump Up Your Book Virtual Tour

Tobias Hillyer had his future planned, beginning with going to the Peruvian amazon and the Yanomami territories of Brazil and Venezuela for his undergraduate anthropology fellowship. But first, he was going back home for Christmas, to his little brother Simeon, his alcoholic mother and his father. His reception is met with great delight and the arguing is kept at bay. Tobias decides to drive and treat them all to dinner, but on the way back home, an accident occurs and Tobias' life is changed forever.

His parents are killed instantly in the car accident and Simeon is in a coma. Tobias cancels his undergraduate studies and drops out of school. He doesn't want to, but he is now Simeon's 'parent' and sits at his bedside daily, waiting for Simeon to wake up. He meets one of Simeon's nurses, Carmela, and although they are attracted to one another, Tobias has no room in his life for a romance. He needs to find work, pay bills and take care of Simeon. But Carmela is relentless and soon finds a place in Tobias's life. When Simeon wakes up and is released from rehabilitation, Carmela makes room in her life for him too. Simeon will always need someone to take care of his for the rest of his life, something is wrong with his brain. A gifted artist, a cartoonist, Tobias trys what he can for Simeon to refind his gift, buying all sorts of art supplies.

Carmela and Tobias get married, and the two spend occassional weekends with Tobias' best friend Martin and his new wife. Tobias works at a bookstore and Carmela still works at the hospital. Life isn't wonderful, with the bills piling up, but they manage and take care of Simeon. Then Martin's wife is pregnant and Carmela decides she wants a baby too, even though Tobias states they can't afford one. She goes behind his back and stops taking her birth control and before long, she is pregnant. Tobias isn't happy but makes the most of it, and is soon the father of twins. Simeon is wonderful with them, and Tobias and Carmela find a comfort zone in their life.

Then something happens. Tobias wins the lottery and their lives are irrevocably changed. Tobias begins lending money out to friends without consulting Carmela. It puts a rift in their marriage. Then their daughter is kidnapped and Tobias knows something needs to change.

You Never Know is a wonderful novel following the ups and downs of Tobias' life and how he adapts to it's relentless changes. It's a story of family, loss, hope, love and chance. The characters are cleverly crafted and very realistic. Live life to the fullest, day by day, is dominant in this story. It could happen to any of us, You Never Know.

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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