Author: A. S. King
Summary: (goodreads) Lucky Linderman didn't ask for his life. He didn't ask his grandfather not to come home from the Vietnam War. He didn't ask for a father who never got over it. He didn't ask for a mother who keeps pretending their dysfunctional family is fine. And he didn't ask to be the target of Nader McMillan's relentless bullying, which has finally gone too far.
But Lucky has a secret--one that helps him wade through the daily mundane torture of his life. In his dreams, Lucky escapes to the war-ridden jungles of Laos--the prison his grandfather couldn't escape--where Lucky can be a real man, an adventurer, and a hero. It's dangerous and wild, and it's a place where his life just might be worth living. But how long can Lucky keep hiding in his dreams before reality forces its way inside?
Review: A. S. King has a gift. And it shines brightly in this beautifully written novel. Human weakness and fragility are explored against a backdrop of suspense, action and uncertainty. Physical and psychological weaknesses are examined and the main character provides an intensely intimate glance into a life that may seem fine on the outside.
Lucky has two parents that love him. They are successful and there are no violence, drug or alcohol problems to speak of. But even so, Lucky is missing something. The thing that makes a family truly a family. It is connection, communication and genuine interest. This is an important concept as the reviewer, because this novel delves into the emotional effects of scars from the past and lack of understanding. King made Lucky an incredibly human character and developed secondary characters. All of the characters revealed a different aspect or take on life and seeing it from Lucky's eyes was an experience worth repeating.
Facts on the POW/MIA are inserted perfectly and the entire story is so well sealed together that I just loved this book so much more than I can say. Radically different worlds, Lucky's dream self and his real self manage to meld by the end and reveal immense and realistic character growth. Even so, King does not reveal everything. Or am I the only one left wondering at the end about Lucky's dream objects? It is a novel that leaves curiosity to bloom long after the last page.
Highly recommended. The plot moves quickly and there are many facets to the story, but it all fits so perfectly! The writing is infused with sincerity and the reader will fall for Lucky's cause. Great novel.
Rating: 1 2 3 4 5