Monday, April 4, 2016

The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

Quinn is a musician.  Playing his guitar is the only way he feels he connects well with people and he loves music.  He's spent so much time on the road he's lost his marriage and doesn't see much of his son but that's OK.  At least it was until his son died unexpectedly.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published tomorrow.

Grief affects people in different ways.  With Quinn, he agrees to finish up his son's Eagle Scout project (helping an old lady) and steals one of his notebooks that he used so he can see his son's thoughts.  His son was unusual.  He viewed life differently, had OCD tendencies, and he loved the Guinness Book of World Records.  He had a lot of them memorized and he wanted Ona to create a new one.  He'd help her accomplish it.  At 104, she's done a lot of things but she's never done that.  He considers her age to be a qualifier for a new record, they just have to figure out what.  The son also has a heart disease that no one knew about and that's what strikes him down on his morning bike ride.

Belle, the mother, is fragile and broken by her son's death.  Her whole family has gathered around her and they're driving her nuts.  She wishes they'd all go home.

I had no idea where this author was going to take this story.  I was expecting the young man to interact with the old woman and insights shared among them.  Instead, it's his father that's interacting with her and, soon, it's his mother, too.

There's a road trip, a wedding, what looks like a new job for Quinn and Ona works on getting her record.  The story is sad but all hope is not gone.  It's a bit like eating sweet & sour pork.  The parents and Ona move on with their memories of a very unique young man.

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