SDR Book of the Week: The Good Luck of Right Now, by Matthew Quick
The Good Luck of Right Now, by Matthew Quick. Harper, 304 pp.
When everyone was caught up in the amazingness that was The Silver Linings Playbook, I closed the final cover of that book with a resounding “meh. The movie was better.” I don’t know if I’d be able to say that with this book.
Bartholomew Neil is thirty-eight years old, and has just lost one of the two people in his life: his mother. His grief counselor tells him he needs to find other people to include in his life; he needs to simply go to a bar and have a beer with a friend.
Then Bartholomew finds a “Free Tibet” letter his mother received from Richard Gere around the time of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He starts to document his life experiences, from his memories of his mother to his efforts to cope with her passing, in a series of letters to Mr. Gere. He has never met the actor, but he feels a kinship to him through his mother’s affinity to him. Toward the end of her life she even began to call Bartholomew “Richard.”
Through these letters, Bartholomew begins to break free from the life he’d always known and pave a new, independent way for himself.
What I appreciated most about Quick’s latest novel is that it wasn’t too complex. Many times, I feel, novels try to be everything to a reader. The Good Luck of Right Now is whimsical and tender, and accomplishes its mission well of entertaining and heart-warming. I smile even thinking back to this book.
Aside from The Silver Linings Playbook, The Good Luck of Right Now is the only book I’d read of Quick’s. I would like to read his other work, however. The Silver Linings Playbook was his debut novel, and The Good Luck of Right Now is his latest. To say he has grown as an author is an understatement.