Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ways of Leaving by Grant Jarrett

Chase Stoller’s life is crumbling. He just lost his job, his wife Jennifer has filed for divorce, and now his brother Aaron wants him to return to Pennsylvania and help care for their ailing father.

When he arrives at his brother’s house, years of repressed rage float to the surface—along with two married women, one virtual church, several bottles of scotch, one schizophrenic sister, five helpings of Brussels sprouts, three boxes of purloined panties, and a gun-wielding husband with a grudge. But Chase’s greatest challenge comes when his sister attempts to end her life. 

Ways of Leaving is a well written novel about a time in one man's life that seems like an extra double helping of undesirables.  Poor Chase - not only is he going through a divorce, but he just lost his job and now his brother wants him to come home and help with their ailing father.  He tries to keep calm and ride the storm but he is angry.

He's angry at everything and it's his anger that sometimes creates moments of laugh out loud humor and other moments of stunned disbelief.  He makes some poor choices, but he is only human and let's his emotions get the best of him at times.  But Chase is a good man and his past is slowly revealed to the reader to show how he came to be where he presently is. 

There are many explicit scenes, as well as some gritty, sensitive subjects touched upon but Jarrett handles them all with firmness and with sometimes dry wit.  His writing is sublime and the pages just flew by.  A multilayered story that kept me riveted, not knowing what was going to happen next. A solid, good read!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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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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