Sunday, May 31, 2015

All I Have In This World by Michael Parker

They come together in Texas.  Both are searching, lost in their lives and hoping to find a way to a better place.  Maria has been fleeing a personal tragedy for years, drifting from town to town, job to job.  She has returned home to see if she can find out why she left and if there is anything left for her here.  Marcus has fled from North Carolina, where bad business decisions have left him penniless and desperate to find a new life.

They meet on a used car lot in West Texas.  Each is drawn to the same car, a sky-blue twenty-year old Buick Electra.  Impulsively, to prevent bidding each other up, they agree to buy the car together and share it.  Neither is sure if this arrangement will work but somehow it feels right.  Over the next few days, they form an alliance that helps each of them work through their personal issues and start to see the way forward to a new chapter in their lives.

Michael Parker writes novels that draw the reader in.  Usually they don't have big dramatic events but rather an accumulation of many small details that build a picture.  The writing seems easy and effortless, but each word is carefully chosen to take the reader further along on the journey.  Maria and Marcus's stories lead one to consider how we react to tragedies and the nature of forgiveness and moving on.  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction.

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