Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Book 11 - How to be Good

I bought this book back in October when I was in Toronto. I started to read it then I didn't feel like reading anything for a while when my cat passed away and since then I have had so many library books that I haven't read anything that I didn't have on loan. But I finally made my way back to it, and I gotta say that I love me some Nick Hornby. I have read  and reviewed several of his books on here such as High Fidelity, Juliet Naked and About a Boy.

On its surface, “How to be Good” is about a woman struggling to decide whether or not to leave her marriage. Katie is a doctor and she has been married to David, a grumpy writer who is also the primary caregiver for their two children. Katie starts off the book explaining that she has no major issues with her husband but she is generally unhappy. This makes her pose the question if malcontent is enough of a reason to end a marriage.

Katie's tells her husband that she wants a divorce, but David refuses to grant her one, and Katie waffles back and forth between wanting to split up and wanting to stay together. David has always been cantankerous, in fact he writes a column in which he is described as being the "angriest man in Holloway". Then one day he throws his back out and goes to see a fellow named DJ GoodNews (he insists on being called GoodNews at all times) who is a spiritual healer. After that things get strange, David suddenly becomes all positive and nice and obsessively charitable.

I won't spoil all the details, but some of the things that David does would try the patience of any partner. We are meant to mainly take Katie's side, but even she sometimes sees the good in what David is trying to accomplish. It is never just black and white. At one point David said that he has always wished that he had lived in the 60s and the things that he is doing are trying to get himself closer to that. There does have to be a line between charity and insanity, and David surely crosses that line several times. If it were me I would not have been able to stand it!

All in all it was a fast, humorous and entertaining read and I would recommend giving it a go.

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