Author: Craig Lancaster
Series: Stand Alone
Published: Available now from Amazon Encore
Source: sent for review
Description: He owed a lot of people, but I was the only one left to collect. I told myself that I didn’t care about him, only about what he owed me, whatever that was. I even tried to believe it. When Mitch Quillen’s life begins to unravel, he fears there is no escape. His marriage and his career are both failing, and his relationship with his father has been a disaster for decades. Approaching forty, Mitch doesn’t want to become a middle-aged statistic. When his estranged father, Jim, suddenly calls, Mitch’s wife urges him to respond. Ready for a change, Mitch heads to Montana and a showdown that will alter the course of his life. Amid a backdrop of rugged peaks and valleys, the story unfolds: a violent episode that triggered the rift, thirty years of miscommunication, and the possibility of misplaced blame.
I Give This ...
Lancaster's debut novel 600 Hours of Edward was one of my favorite books of 2009. So, needless to say, I was more than happy to review his sophomore effort.
Lancaster creates characters that you can identify with. Mitch is no exception. I really felt his struggle with is wife and his battle to try to figure out the best way to save his marriage. I also felt his struggle with himself and the things he's burried so deep even he's not sure what exactly they are. But most of all, I really felt his struggle with his father. And really it's the basis of the entire story because it's affected Mitch's entire life.
I like the Lancaster tackled such a delicate subject as family rifts. My own family is pretty tight as is my husband's. But, I can see how they could happen. And, I'm sure it's very common. The book explorers a summer when Mitch was young when the initial rift occurred and the present (well 2007 but could be the present). His father has reached out to him and they must overcome that summer that stands between them.
Reading about Mitch's father and you can see why he's a hard man to like. When Mitch was young, he was never the father he needed him to be. And now that he's an adult, he's a man he wishes could change but accepts that maybe that's not possible. As the events of both summers are laid out in the book we come to really understand what's going on. Mitch's father has been hiding things for so long that I'm not even sure he can let them go them. I was surprised at Mitch's father's upbringing. It was dark and unpleasant and I think accounted for a lot of how he acted as a man, husband, and a father. I wasn't fully surprised at the events that ended that summer when Mitch was young or at what caused him to reach out to his son when he did.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read. I liked the dynamics of the story. And, while the subject matter could be depressing, the story didn't really have that tone. It was more about hope, letting go, and that sometime relationship are the most important things of all!