Need some light? Be the light! And, never deny the presence of your guardian angel.
Lucas Goodgame is a high school counselor who survived an unthinkable tragedy that rocked the small town of Majestic. A disturbed teenager, someone who Lucas had counseled at school, opened fire in a crowded movie theater assassinating movie theater patrons in an “every other” pattern as they sat in their seats. Months after the unthinkable tragedy that took the life of his beloved wife, Lucas notices a camping tent go up in his backyard that is inhabited by none other than Eli, the younger brother of the killer (I know, it’s a weird premise…but oh so good! Bear with me). As they begin to rely on each other to mentally heal from intense trauma, both Lucas and Eli come up with the idea to bring together not only the survivors of the Majestic Massacre but the entire town through a collaborative project in a showing of strength and solidarity. As they unite in their grief, they also unite in their commitment to move on and reclaim their friends, their city, and their emotional stability. It is only when Lucas grasps the idea of his future beyond the haze of trauma that he realizes his grasp of the past is just as muddled, confused, and uncertain.
Trigger warnings: Violence, suicide, details involving a massacre, mild language, mild sexual content
Why I read it: It was my Book of the Month pick
At the risk of sounding cheesy, this book was a *delightful* surprise. At the beginning, and really throughout the first fourth of the book, I kept saying, “Ok, where are they going with this?” And then I was absolutely hooked.
Have I mentioned how much I love an unreliable narrator? The entire story is told through letters from Lucas to his psychiatrist who refuses to write back or engage with him at all. Clearly, Lucas is irrational and delusional, but the author writes from his point of view in such a way that I couldn’t help but fall in love with him as a character. I found myself feeling defensive of him and wanting to protect him.
I thought the book was a little “out there” in the best possible way. I loved that you were directly in the main character’s psyche and, therefore, you were questioning reality and what was the narrator’s perceived reality. The second half of the book brings clarity and ties together a lot of loose ends. The ending, in my opinion, was perfect. I thought it was a perfect way to wrap up the story.