The Book of Why by Nicholas Montemarano

The Book of Why by Nicholas MontemaranoThe Book of Why by Nicholas Montemarano tells the story of a best-selling self-help guru whose tenets fail him when he loses his wife.

Protagonist Eric Newborn has made a great living teaching people how to make success, happiness, and good health come into their lives through the power of positive thinking. But then his wife faces a terminal illness, and after her death, he retreats to their secluded home on Martha’s Vineyard as he continues to ask, “Why?”

Indeed, this is a novel full of questions and not many, if any, answers. The book explores Eric’s profound grief against the backdrop of one of his formerly tightly held beliefs — that there are no accidents or coicidences.

As I also hold that belief, I enjoyed this book’s exploration of the concept for as far as it went. Several story lines flow throughout the book with the chapters skipping back and forth over time; this worked fine for me for a while, but I couldn’t help feeling let down by a rather scattered finish. I loved the first half of the book — five-star material — but the second half disappointed me a bit as it seems to drop some important plot threads and get a little too, well, coincidental.

Still, The Book of Why held my attention from start to finish, and some of the writing is truly spectacular, so I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the mind’s ability to create the world around them as well as the existence or non-existence of coincidence. It’s a thought-provoking book that has stayed with me in the weeks since I finished reading it, and I imagine will continue to do so for some time.

4 espresso cups out of 5!


** NOTE: I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley; the opinions expressed are my own. The link in the post above is an affiliate link, which means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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