Author: Steven Manchester
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
First Published: 2012
Page Count: 307
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 5/5 Stars
You will not be able to put down this book about an unlucky newborn whose life is altered forever, but goes on to lead a blessed life thanks to his loving family and a determined grandmother.
“Love is the best excuse for living, she thought. It might just be the only excuse…” Brian is born a healthy child, but his health slowly and mysteriously starts to deteriorate. A doctor’s verdict about Brian’s future sends the entire family into a depression and leaves them feeling helpless. Everyone except Brian’s grandmother who everyone calls mama, that is. Mama is set on proving to the doctors and naysayers that anything is possible with a little love and faith. Her dedication shows that miracles happen.
I wasn’t too keen on reading another Steven Manchester book since the first one I read and reviewed, Twelve Months, wasn’t very enjoyable for me and this book seemed to parallel the previous author’s work as far as the story goes. While the story is about a person’s struggle with issues concerning health, this book does a much better job telling it. Manchester wastes no time introducing the readers to Brian and his unfortunate diagnosis, while also familiarizing us with Brian’s family and support system. This is why the book really resonated with me. There is a perfect balance of drama concerning Brian’s health and struggles which keeps the story moving, but there is also enough going on with Brian’s family that it adds something different to the story. They all have their own problems that differ greatly from Brian’s, but they also collectively make the world a better place. And the story is just as much about the good will and determination that flows through mama’s veins then about Brian’s struggles.
I really had no problems with this novel. It is a quick read and the story is equally depressing and uplifting. Unlike his previous work, which takes half the book to introduce the problem and then the rest of the book struggles back and forth between the drama and trying to make a happy story, this book doesn’t struggle at all. I was content from page one to page three hundred and seven. The story and the characters feel very real and their battles could happen to any family.
I can’t believe these books are from the same author because this one touched me a great deal more than his previous book. However, the last book I read from Manchester did have a feeling of potential and it seems that potential has been recognized in this book. I was blown away with how much I enjoyed this book when it’s really not in the realm of anything I’d be interested in just by reading the back cover of the book. That just goes to show how great a book this is. No matter what your usual choice is when it comes to reading, I encourage you to check this book out. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised.
*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.