"Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather, and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know." - John Keats

"You're not allowed to say anything about books because they're books and books are, you know, God." - Nick Hornby

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Review #84: Alison's Automotive Repair Manual, by Brad Barkley

Alison, a widow in her thirties, is stuck. She's mourning her husband, stuck in a fog, living with her sister Sarah and brother in law Bill, and can't move forward. Her sister finally holds an intervention, telling Alison's that she's got to get it together and being to move on with her life. Finally, she promises she will, just as soon as she restores the vintage Corvette that's rusting in Bill's garage.

The problem is, Alison doesn't know a socket wrench from a screwdriver, and as anyone who has ever been involved with car repair knows that it's not a cheap undertaking. With the entire town watching and judging - including Sarah's nutty group of elderly dancers and the town's demolition man - Alison picks up her grease rag and gets to work.

What I thought was going to be a humdrum book turned out to be a pretty compelling novel about love, loss, grief, moving on, and fitting in. (And I don't want to spoil the ending, but I thought the last few scenes were exactly perfect.)

1 comment:

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