Today, Mount Pleasant by Don Gillmor comes out and although I don’t usually start my book reviews this way I will: YOU SHOULD read this novel. That said, let’s get on with the review…
I’ve never picked up a novel that threw me so far into reality that I got anxiety. Money runs the world, according to Harry Salter. Harry Salter is in debt, a mountain of debt that only gets higher, that seems to be gaining momentum, no end in sight. To top things off, his marriage is going through another rough patch — 20 years of marriage and divorce is knocking at the door. The only thing that can save Harry is his father’s estate. An estate that ends up being a measly $4,200 — nowhere near what Harry was expecting. All of his father’s money is gone and Harry is willing to go on a wild goose chase to find it. Money will solve all of his problems, money will save his marriage. Right?
Now, why should you read this novel? Well, for starters it is real. It documents the life of a middle-aged man and all of the anxieties that go along with it. At first it kind of depressed me, I thought THIS is what I have to look forward to? and then I got so into the writing, so into the story, that I forgot all about that. There’s a little fight left in Harry Salter, there are moments in which I hated him and his wife, Gladys, and moments where I loved them both. They are wonderfully complex characters that emulate reality. Their story is daunting but I couldn’t put it down. Their secrets are haunting but I felt relieved when each one was unleashed. The money, the chase, and the suspense surrounding his father’s estate fuelled my need to read on. Oh, and the writing was amazing. Funny, smart, and suspenseful, just the way I like it.
“Life can’t be resolved. If it could, it wouldn’t be life. Relax, Harry, laugh when you can. You don’t get another shot at it.” (Page 97)