Sunday, October 14, 2007


I don't often do book reviews - simply because I don't know if I can ever write a review without sounding like I'm totally gushing or being really snide (when I don't like a book, I really don't like it.) But this was one book that I really want to tell people about because it's one that, as soon as I started reading, I hated putting it down for any reason.

LOTTERY, by Patricia K. Wood, was, frankly, an absolutely terrific read.

I bought it Friday afternoon, began reading it, and finished it Saturday night - and this is while I'm trying to get my house packed up and moved.

The story is about Perry L. Crandall, who has an IQ of 76. He's slow, as he points out, but he's not retarded. He lives with Gram, works at a nearby boatyard, and reads the dictionary to learn as many words as he can, because words are key. Things are tough for Perry and Gram, financially, but they are happy.

When Gram dies, Perry is left alone. He has what he calls "cousin-brothers" and an estranged mother, but they can't be bothered with him and that's fine with him because Perry has a family in his friends, Keith and Gary, and Cherry, the woman he wants to make his girlfriend. However, when Perry wins the Washington State Lottery for $12 million, those cousin-brothers can't try to insinuate themselves into Perry's life fast enough. They still don't give a hoot about him, but want his winnings.

For Perry, winning the lottery means that he can buy a 27" flat screen tv, help his friend Keith repair his boat, and that people who treated him as if he was invisible now want to be his friend. Still, he knows better - he knows which people he can trust and which ones want to take advantage of his situation. Although it seems as if the cousin-brothers just might get their greedy hands on his winnings, Keith and Gary prove what true friendship is by simply watching out for Perry.

I loved Perry - he was innocent and shrewd at the same time and, despite being "slow", he wasn't at all stupid and not at all a stereotype. He was real. His love for his friends, and for Cherry, is his motivating factor - but he does experience jealousy and anger - but his love always wins out.

It had some funny scenes, and there was a twist I didn't see coming, which I won't spoil here for anyone who hasn't read it yet. Parts made me choke up, but in the end, when I closed the book, my first thought was "I have to tell someone about this." And so here it is.

It's a great story about the power of friendship, and love, and I'm looking forward Patricia Wood's next book.

Check out Patricia's blog and see for yourself!

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