2.28.2011 | Monday

Better Together

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Better Togethertitle: Better Together
author: Raymond M. Rose
published: 31 October 2010
publisher: Christopher Williams Books
genre(s): contemporary
pages: 222
source: author
format: eBook
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | BookBub | Goodreads
rating: four-stars


the blurb

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.


my review

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!

About Raymond M. Rose

My career as a writer seemed, oddly, predetermined. I grew up at the feet of my maternal grandfather telling stories of World War II and my paternal grandmother recalling her adventures as travelling the world (often by herself) in the 1950s. When I was old enough to construct words into sentences, I began making stories up for new GI Joe characters and putting my friends into thrilling tales. My 13-year-old self would love that I’m making a living now telling lies.

I’m not sure the 13-year-old me would have counted on becoming a dad. Of three boys.

In 2004, I met my wife and we did the whole ritual: dated, got engaged, married, bought a house, and had a kid. Times three (not three houses). Being a dad has been the most amazing thing in my life and it gives me a repeated reminder why I write until two in the morning: to make them proud. And pay for college.

Before I met my wife, I created Sidekicks, the world my first novel, The Fire Inside, inhabits. There are many tales in this world and they would be my primary focus if I hadn’t had kids. However, having them and choosing to be a stay-at-home dad has splintered my interests as an author. Now I want to tell stories about being a dad besides tales about comic book-inspired crimefighters. Oh, and there’s a steampunk tale that keeps gathering speed also…

::spread the love::
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2 responses to “Better Together

  1. Mark Butcher

    I too got quickly wrapped up in this book. Congrats to Ray for his portrayal of good solid fathering. We need more of that.

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