Thursday, June 23, 2016

We're All Damaged - A Review and a Command to go Buy This Book Now!

I am going to say it... this is the best book I have read so far all year.  I adored it.  Could not get enough of it and was slightly devastated when it ended. 

This was not a humor book.  It was not written as a comedy.  It actually had a very morose story line.  So it might bewilder the reader when I say that through the first 7 chapters or so I did nothing but laugh hysterically until tears ran down my face.  I only am thankful I didn't try reading this in public - I might have been hauled off and drug tested... or worse, someone would have swiped the book since it was apparently that good.  I did read it in the tub and nearly drowned myself, but that's a story for another day (well, Facebook already knows all about it).

The reason I laughed so hard was that Matthew's writing is exquisitely sharp and witty. It is full of sarcastic notations on life that we all see in everyday moments, but perhaps lack the talent to notate them in such a delightfully droll manner.

Matthew takes a man that seems to have decided the world is out to get him, sends him home to await his grandfather's funeral, puts him in his dysfunctional family home, close to his newly divorced but already shacked up ex-wife...........and tells the entire story with so much biting wit that you find yourself laughing through all the sad.  It was a low blow to me when I reached the last page and realized that was it.  The End. I desperately want to know how Andy's life continues. Matthew's writing was just that good.

OMG... The squirrels.  The squirrels will kill you.


Oh yes, go buy his first book, Domestic Violets also.  You'll want it.

Little A Publishers
June 1, 2016

Book Description:
Andy Carter was happy. He had a solid job. He ran 5Ks for charity. He was living a nice, safe Midwestern existence. And then his wife left him for a handsome paramedic down the street.

We’re All Damaged begins after Andy has lost his job, ruined his best friend’s wedding, and moved to New York City, where he lives in a tiny apartment with an angry cat named Jeter that isn’t technically his. But before long he needs to go back to Omaha to say good-bye to his dying grandfather.

Back home, Andy is confronted with his past, which includes his ex, his ex’s new boyfriend, his right-wing talk-radio-host mother, his parents’ crumbling marriage, and his still-angry best friend.

As if these old problems weren’t enough, Andy encounters an entirely new complication: Daisy. She has fifteen tattoos, no job, and her own difficult past. But she claims she is the only person who can help Andy be happy again, if only she weren’t hiding a huge secret that will mess things up even more. Andy Carter needs a second chance at life, and Daisy—and the person Daisy pushes Andy to become—may be his last chance to set things right.

From the Editor

DOMESTIC VIOLETSWhat’s more humiliating than watching a marriage dissolve in the middle of dinner at a cheesy chain restaurant? In We’re All Damaged, our lovable hero, Andy, is devouring his sizzling chicken dish when he’s blindsided by his wife’s announcement: “I don’t want this anymore.” And she’s not referring to the food. That’s just the first scene of this compulsively readable and heartrending novel.

In that moment I found myself instantly rooting for Andy, who narrates the story with brutal honesty and keen observation. I commiserated with him as he returns to his hometown to care for his dying grandfather and deal with his parents’ troubled marriage. In the process Andy meets a mysterious woman named Daisy who seems to know a lot about him, and he’s forced to witness his ex-wife’s brand-new life. In the wake of his painful divorce, Andy now faces the new challenge of holding his family together.

Matthew Norman’s novel reminded me that even when everything seems to be going wrong, we can find moments of joy and beauty with the most unexpected people. It’s a reassuring lesson that runs through We’re All Damaged and makes for a frank and joyful read.
- Carmen Johnson, Editor