By: Matt Burriesci

This book took me a long time to get into, and is an example of why the elusive 2nd person narrative is so rarely used.

You are a middle-aged man, coming on-board to a new job as Director of a prestigious non-profit organization. You have issues. Your issues have issues. When I realized this, suddenly, I bonded with the character of John MacManus, and I was hooked.

Yeah, when your life is so messed up, and you’re mired so deep in muck that there seem to be no options left but to ride out the shit-storm that has descended upon you – that’s when people feel connected to a complete stranger. So many of us have been there, that you can’t help but feel empathy for someone, and that naughty little curiosity comes out – not the one that wants to see if you can help, but rather the one that knows you can’t, but wants to see how it all turns out.

That curiosity came out in me, maybe about halfway through this book.

Yeah. That’s me, spectator extraordinaire.

But this book does beg the question: What happens when an honest man gets caught in a dishonest situation? That answer seems to be the story at the core of this book.

DC’s newest Executive Director, John MacManus, discovers rampant financial fraud, an apathetic Board of wealthy, powerful members of DC’s elite, attends frequent meetings where business is never discussed, and deals with a souring relationship with his wife brought on by infertility. Through it all, John never gives up.

I think that’s why I like him so much as a character. I mean, he could be my best friend – he certainly needs one. The final scene of the book, John finally gives in to his emotions, exhaustion and eventful career. And deserves it.

I received this book as part of GoodReads First Reads, and fully believe it would make for an excellent Book Club selection. Definitely one I will be recommending!


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