Hmmm...talk about a quirky, unusual novel.
Bartholomew Neil's mother has just died of brain cancer. In his thirty-eight years, Bartholomew has never lived alone, never held a job, never had a date with a woman or a beer with a buddy. He doesn't know how to pay a bill, drive, or anything else that most of us learn how to do by that time. In other words, Bartholomew does not know how to live on his own. When he discovers a form letter from Richard Gere (his mother's favorite actor) in her underwear drawer, he starts writing to the actor as a way of dealing with his grief. Sounds strange, right? Well, that is just the beginning.
Let's begin with the people that are currently in Bartholomew's life. There is Father McNamee, a defrocked, bipolar, alcoholic Catholic priest; Wendy, a grief counselor with her own problems; Max, an F-bomb dropping cat lover, and Max's sister, a damaged "Girlbrarian," who claims to have been abducted by aliens.
Next, there is how they all end up together. Let's just say - fate.
Finally, there is an ill-fated trip to Canada in a rented Ford Taurus. To visit the Cat Parliament. Yes, Cat Parliament. And from there, the story soon ends.
Matthew Quick manages in The Good Luck of Right Now to have his readers not only understand this very different story, but end up liking these characters so much that you root for them all the way. There is a lot of grief and pain, but even more friendship and hope.
If you are in the mood to read something totally "out of the box", then this is highly recommended.
Read-alike: The Journal of Best Practices by David Finch