Author: Nicholas Montemarano
As a child, Eric Newborn and his father played games, based on Eric’s father’s playful theory that if you thought it, it would happen. It’s Halloween; Eric is around 11 and wants to go trick or treating as The Invisible Man. Eric’s father believes in magic. Eric tells his father to go into the closet – he wants to make his dad disappear. Eric’s dad, every the fun man he is, hides in the closet. And inside the closet, Eric’s dad gargles once. He gasps. Eric loves that his dad always puts on the best show. And when Eric opens the closet, his father falls out – dead.
Eric Newborn then becomes his father. As a man, he writes books and lectures about attracting positive thoughts to create a positive life, the life you desire. And Eric believes his books and lectures 100%. Eric says, your mind can heal you. When Eric meets the love of his life, Cary, and her German shepherd dog Ralph (who is a female dog), he falls madly in love and they marry. Life is exactly what he expects: the best of the good life. Eric is wildly successful and he and Cary move from Brooklyn to their dream locale, Martha’s Vineyard. They foster two twins, Vincent and Lucy, when they find they cannot have a child. The children’s mother, an addict, reads Eric’s books, finds herself, reforms, and re-claims her children. Then Cary gets cancer, and shoots the bottom out of Eric’s lifelong belief system.
Cary does not believe that she can will herself well; she is the pragmatic one. And as hard as Eric tries to will her well through himself, Cary dies.
In a novel about faith and doubt, will and randomness, the past and the present, fathers and sons, but mostly love, Montemarano takes on the huge questions of life: why? Why good? Why evil? Why us? When a fan of Eric’s books arrives because she believes in him and his attraction of good, Eric finds himself in a near fatal accident with the girl, Samantha. As Samantha drives Eric to search for the word he uttered as he almost died, Gloria Foster, Eric begins to search – slowly – again for signs of Cary, for signs of his faith.
Gentle, ferocious, ying, yang, positive/negative, Eric must thrust himself through his life and memories, stirring up his endless grief and loss, first that he was the cause of his father’s death, and second, that he was the cause of Cary’s death. As Eric opens up the Pandora’s Box of humanity, he gently and slowly, through Sam, learns to put the lid back on.
Stunning, star like, beyond philosophical, The Book of Why treads deeply into the ocean of our raison d’etre, our ability to learn who we are by walking through the pain life delivers. Too good for a few paltry words of praise, The Book of Why lacks nothing. It is overwhelmingly brilliant.
The Book of Why: A Novel can be pre-ordered from Amazon.com
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A” – Ava
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own.