March 25, 2014
Paperback - November 11, 2014
A few years ago I read The Watery Part of the World by Michael and was really impressed by his writing. So I eagerly grabbed the opportunity to read his newest book, All I Have in this World.
Once again he has a beautifully flowing cadence to his writing. His pages are filled with quirky mannerisms and interesting turns of phrase. There are authors out there whose style of writing is as interesting as the actual story, and Michael is one of those authors. The characters come alive within the pages and even the little asides that are put into the book - throw away moments in the character's lives - remain interesting to the reader.
There are quite a few side characters in this novel in addition to the two main characters - each with a story that revolves in some way around the car that becomes the focal point of Marcus' and Maria's story together. All of them interesting.
Two strangers meet on a windswept car lot in West Texas. Marcus is fleeing the disastrous fallout of chasing a lifelong dream; Maria is returning to the hometown she fled years ago, to make amends. They begin to argue over the car that they both desperately want—a low-slung sky-blue twenty-year-old Buick Electra.
The car, too, has seen its share of mistakes and failures. Every dent and seam has witnessed pivotal moments in the lives of others, from the boy who assembled it at the Cleveland factory to all the owners who were to follow: a God-fearing man who sells it when he sees a sexy girl sprawled across it; a doctor who can’t dissociate it from his son’s fate; and a rancher’s wife who’d much rather live without it for all the history it carries.
Marcus and Maria, after knowing each other for less than an hour, decide to buy the old car together. And as this surprising novel follows the rocky paths of the Electra and its owners—both past and present—these two lost souls form an unexpected alliance.
All I Have in This World is a tender novel about our desire to reconcile past mistakes, and the ways we must learn to forgive others, and perhaps even ourselves, if we are ever to move on.