Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review: Welcome to the Great Mysterious

For my August book club, we chose to read Lorna Landvik's "Welcome to the Great Mysterious". Lorna is the daughter of the church's old pastor, so I guess some of the older book club members feel a special connection to her books. Most are set in Minnesota, and we've also read "Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons", which was pretty good.

The description from Goodreads: "Broadway star Geneva Jordan reluctantly agrees to take care of her twin sister Ann's son, a boy with Down's Syndrome, while Ann and her husband take a vacation. Returning home to Minnesota, Geneva steps into her new role every inch a star, but the boy and an interesting man begin to open her heart."

Not much to go on, if you ask me. But the story is pretty simple and straight forward. I enjoy Landvik's writing style, which gives you enough detail with out being over the top, and she keeps it interesting to carry you through the book.

Geneva is every bit a Broadway starlet, so taking this role as caregiver to a 13 year old boy with Down's Syndrome is quite out of the box for her. But she sucks it up and plows forward with good intention. When they find an old book that Geneva and her sister made as kids, called The Great Mysterious, things get a little more interesting. The book asks "the big questions", and each member of their family was supposed to write in an answer for questions like "What is the meaning of life?" and "What is true love?". It's fun to hear the answers from her different relatives, and get a little insight into some of the characters. I also think it gets the reader pondering what their own answers would be. I haven't decided what my answers are, but it did get me thinking!

It's also interesting to see Geneva's character evolve as the book goes on. She goes to being quite self-absorbed, to caring and understanding that there is more to life than Broadway.

Overall, I thought this was a wholesome book that makes you laugh, cry, and ends on a nice note. 4 stars from me.

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