author: Raymond M. Rose
published: 31 October 2010
publisher: Christopher Williams Books
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads
Paul Rhoads, a successful horror novelist, has just moved back to his Pennsylvania hometown. This move is more than just returning to his roots and trying to finish his stalled novel, it's restarting a relationship with his high school sweetheart, Annie. And getting to know Annie's eight month old son, Max.
But, when Annie dies in a freak car accident, Paul finds himself doing something he never could have foreseen: raising Max on his own.
From the moment I picked up Better Together, I was hooked! A poignant tale of love and loss, the story completely pulls at the heart strings. With so many books out there that center around motherhood, it was very refreshing to read a novel that centered around fatherhood instead. Too many times, the man is portrayed as the bad guy, the bad husband, the neglectful father. The hero of this story is none of those things. Instead, he is a likeable man, a successful novelist who has moved back home in hopes of finding some much needed creative inspiration. Instead, his life takes a completely unexpected turn.
The characters are extremely well developed, making it very easy to connect to them emotionally as the story progressed. The story was definately an emotional roller coaster and I was swept away along with the characters in their ups and downs. Even the less likeable characters had the ability to draw you into their stories. Loss hits early in the story, and the pain is palpable, as is the anger. But there is also lots of happiness and humor throughout the story as Paul finds his way through the new world of unexpected single fatherhood. Rose’s sense of wit was apparent all through the story, one of my favorite giggle-inducing passages being the following:
“Paul grabbed it from his hands, which sent the boy into a screaming fit as he told Paul in a language that Paul, thankfully, didn’t understand what he could do with that package of uncooked chicken and what he really thought of Paul’s mother.”
Truly a fantastic read that shouldn’t be missed!