professornana (professornana) wrote,

one more before I head out for some lunch, er breakfast

Hate time changes. It is 10 here and my body is saying, where's lunch? Oh well, I do have a tasty treat to pass along; NOTES FROM THE MIDNIGHT DRIVER by Jordan Sonnenblick. I guess when one of your high school English teachers is Frank McCourt, you come out of that experience changed. Sonnenblick must have paid lots of attention as his writing is spot on. Loved DRUMS, GIRLS AND DANGEROUS PIE and am thrilled that percussionist Steven from that debut novel makes a guest appearance or two in this one.

Alex decides one evening to drink a whole lot, steal his mother's car keys, and head over to tell his no-good father off for leaving the family to live with Alex's former third grade teacher. Alex does not get too far down the road. Mainly, he ends up in front yard of a neighbor. Fortunately, the only casualty of the accident is a lawn gnome and Alex's life. He is sentenced to work in the nursing home with Sol Lewis, a crotchety old man who loves getting the best of young Alex.

Alex is certain that his punishment does not fit the crime, but he is stuck with Sol for 100 hours. Of course, over that time both Sol and Alex learn about each other, about life, about family and about music. This could easily be a sloppily sentimental novel. Sonnenblick resists the easy, though, and makes Alex and Sol three dimensional characters with real problems and real reactions and real consequences. Once again music plays a pivotal role in the story. Sonnenblick is sure-footed as he places his characters on the long journey toward understanding and empathy. AND, the cover is to die for...

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