Edward Meopian’s life is never easy. His mother dies before he goes to high school and his father has a hard time expressing his love. Edward is uncomfortable at school and it only gets worse when his father enters him into a prestigious private institution with the kids of famous people, especially given that he doesn’t even know how to tie his tie. Edward learns, though, and through this book we follow his life, through college, love affairs, strange jobs, and even fatherhood.
One thing I have loved in reading many of Mr. Meeks’ stories is the humanity of his characters. You can always feel for these people. In this novel, Edward is no exception, and in fact, he echoes the experience of many. He remains in the background for most of his early years, struggling with bullying and confusion over girls, especially given his raging adolescent hormones. Through college, he decides what he wants to be, but the path there isn’t easy or conventional. While on his unexpected detours, Edward figures out who he is and begins to achieve, but he still isn’t perfect, because no one can be. This book echoes the unpredictability of life in a way that will resonate with anyone who has ever been a little lost. I also think the time gaps were handled very well in this novel. For obvious reasons, we skip ahead every so often, but it was very easy to know how much time had passed and I never felt I was missing out on anything.
I think I was most amused by Edward’s adolescent years, particularly his struggle with girls. He doesn’t understand them at all but is mainly fixated on sex in a very believable teenage way. I’ll admit that I found this section hilarious. I can’t know what goes in the mind of a teenage boy, but I suspect the author has a better idea.
Overall, I enjoyed very much reading about the ups and downs of Edward Meopian’s fictional life. Christopher Meeks captures life’s unpredictability while retaining a message of the hope that inspires us all. I’m very pleased to say that I highly recommend this book. I think we can all find a little bit of ourselves in Edward.
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