This a wild — and wildly compassionate — book about a youngish man who journeys to find the teen daughter he didn’t know he had.
What might seem like a straightforward trip turns into a wild goose chase when he arrives to find the girl has been whisked away by her globe-trotting mother, a high-powered businesswoman.
Will Sorley starts out as a 37-year-old literature professor stagnating at a Pennsylvania college. Then comes a desperate email from his 13-year-old daughter claiming him as her father. His spitfire girlfriend, Angie, encourages him to take the bait and find the girl. Within days the duo are on a plane to Kenya. When she has to return home, he continues on. And on and on.
I found the whirlwind odyssey a fast and engaging read because the hook is so good: does he find his daughter? And if so, what do they think of each other?
I also really loved the main character, who, despite his elitist opinion that he’s a cultured man stuck in some backwater, turns out to be a soft touch who responds to his girlfriend’s message to jump in and live life. She, too, is a salt-of-the-earth coffeehouse barista-working aspiring photographer who had me rooting for the narrator to see the light and commit to his love for her.
Lastly, I loved all of the travel scenes! They’re detailed, harrowing and easily as funny as any Bill Bryson adventure.
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THE FALCON, THE WOLF AND THE HUMMINGBIRD a historical novel, Sept. 19, 2023
BLISS ROAD, a memoir
WINTER LIGHT, a novel
THE WIND THIEF, a novel
GROWING GREAT CHARACTERS, a resource for writers