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Friday, November 16, 2012

Twelve Months by Steven Manchester

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place to be when you're ready to take a look at life from the bookish side of things; and today's title fits that desire to a "T".

Have you ever read a work of Fiction that was so emotionally affecting, so able to put you right there with the character for a glass of tea and a conversation that you had to remind yourself it WAS in fact Fiction?  If you're nodding your head yes, high five to you my friend; if not, get ready to experience it for the first time.  Today's book of choice is...

TWELVE MONTHS: A NOVEL
by
Steven Manchester

This is the story (I repeat STORY as in fictional work) of Don DiMarco and his steps towards actually living...though a death sentence is essentially what he was handed.  Now don't freak out...I don't mean death sentence as in punishment for a crime but rather the devastating news of a terminal disease.  That's right, the big C.  Cancer.  If that wasn't bad enough, neither he nor his doctors had caught it in time to do much about it.  He was given twelve months at best to get his affairs in order...what he did was live for thirteen and a half months, and when I say live, I mean live.

Isn't it funny how only when we are truly faced with the end of our days that we really start to live?  I mean everything from "not sweating the small stuff" to " valuing the little things in life" becomes more than a cliche but a new way of thinking and approaching every moment witg gusto.  Why don't we do that everyday, myself included?

If pressed to answer, I'd have to say it's because we are so preoccupied with the here and now that the future for the most part isn't really on our minds...or the possibility that our future may not be in many many years but mere seconds.  It's so easy to take things for granted and get angry over the small things but a read like this offers a chance to step back and reevaluate our current paths, unexpectedly...and I for one appreciate the moment.  Enough about me though, back to the story...

Though not the first published work for this author, it was in fact my first encounter and one I'm certainly pleased with the outcome.  He created memorable characters in both main and secondary roles, along with a storyline easy to believe but with just enough spiritual magic to make you wonder if there wasn't something or someone else behind some of his choices, or at least guiding the way.  The writing style invites you to have a seat on their porch, offers you a cold beverage of your choice (or warm because really it's cold where I am right now!), and begins to recount days gone by like an old friend visiting after so many years apart.  As I said before, there were times I had to remind myself it was a work of Fiction, it was truly that moving.  The changes in Don's life are for better not worse despite the fate that awaits him while the lessons gleaned can be applied to our real world lives of today...and really, who couldn't use a few moments to appreciate the good things their life has to offer and perhaps lend a helping hand or smile to another?

In the end, this is a story about the best lived twelve months a man could ask for and a reminder to us all that any second could be our last; how do you want to remember them...or better still, how do you want to BE remembered?  Recommended read for teen readers through adults; such as the topic is, we'll let kiddos remain kiddos for just a while longer. This book had my attention from page one and despite the obstacles in my way to reach the final page (which involved clumsy me, the dog's water bowl...and then time spent with a hair dryer), remained on my mind not only through it but well after.  Certainly one I'd recommend and despite the assumption of needing tissues for the read, I'd rather you have a notebook to record your thoughts, impressions and perhaps your own list of things to do.

Review copy received courtesy of author Steven Manchester (http://www.stevenmanchester.com). (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as his other works, be sure to visit him online.  This book was released via The Story Plant (http://thestoryplant.com) and should be available now on a bookstore shelf near you (or online retailor).

Until next time...happy reading!

3 comments:

Kaley @ Books Etc. said...

How did you know I was just thinking about moving this one up on my reading list? haha. He emailed me over the summer but I've been so swamped that I haven't been able to get to it yet! It does look like quite the emotional book!

kimbacaffeinate said...

All of the reviews for this have been so lovely, its the type of book I need to be in the right mind frame for...and of course I will need tissues, chocolate and wine!

....Petty Witter said...

I'm with kimbacaffeinate in that this is a book I'd also have to be in the in the right frame of mind to read. No doubt life affirming in its own way, I think I'd still need a box of tissues on hand.

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