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Posted October 1, 2010
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Great Gay-Flavored Escapism
This very entertaining novel was actually written by partners. They work together well, because this is a fun story. Some of the characters and adventures seem pretty random and obligatory at first, but they come together to weave an interesting story. You will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of this narrative about a young man returning home against his will, only to realize fate has brought him to the place where he belongs. Touching and amusing.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Michael Travis Jasper, author of the novel "To Be Chosen"
Posted September 21, 2005
'Family values' not to be missed!
OK, I'll admit it. At times in my life, when I faced dilemmas that seemed beyond my capacity to decide, I have illogically actually looked for wisdom in those tacky, gramatically-challenged sayings one finds in fortune cookies at a Chinese restaurant! That's why the title of this book was especially attractive to me. Phillip Powell is another gay man in a similar situation. Having decided not to attend college, he was 18 when he had left his gulf-coast Mississippi home town and family behind, as well as his deadend job in a local bookstore, to create a new life for himself as an artist in New York City. Now, five years later, he had an apartment in Hells Kitchen he could not afford, cluttered with canvases of paintings he never completed, while he worked another dead end job at the local Barnes & Noble. Having dinner at a Chinese restaurant with his current lover, and the poser who was obviously going to steal him away, Phillip is surprised when his fortune cookie contains three fortunes: 'Your secret desire to completely change your life will manifest.' 'You may be hungry soon. Order a takeout now.' 'You must know there is a path at the end of the road.' The first fortune seems to come true almost immediately, when his estranged, rich grandfather shows up unexpectedly in Manhattan, to convince/bribe Phillip to return home to care, temporarily, for his mother, who is at best eccentric or - as generally regarded - rather crazy. Leaving Manhattan means saying leaving the 'surrogate' family he has created there, including a new Irish boyfriend, Kieran, whom he met the day his grandfather arrived in town. And leaving means having to put up, again, with his mother's four controlling sisters, who are anything but welcoming when Phillip returns home. In the weeks and months that follow, he reconnects with his high school best friend/crush, gets pursued by an aggressive Southern gal sent by his bible-thumping Aunt to 'save' him from sin, decides to share a house with a mysterious young woman and her lesbian roommates, explores small town Mississipi 'gay nightlife' at a private pool party, finds his painting muse may be the old historic properties in his hometown, all while daintily trying to work his way back into his mother's life without 'setting her off' on a tirade. A marvelous, touching story about family, both the family we are born into and the 'family' we create out of the good friends with whom we surround ourselves, and how they affect us and shape who we ultimately become, even after we seem to have moved on from them. The author has an outstanding ability to present realistic, articulated strong characters the reader can't help but identify with, regardless of your family and geographical background. 'Three Fortunes...' presents a serving of 'family values' nobody can possibly object to. FIVE demonstrative HUGE stars out of Five!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 4, 2005
Sometimes it's good to go home....
Almost five years to the day after leaving home and escaping his domineering grandfather, Phillip Powell, an artist, arrived home to his Manhattan apartment to find him waiting on his doorstep. He had an important request: would Phillip return to look after his unstable mother while his grandfather was in China on business? Timing was everything, and though Phillip had just met a man who could possibly be a part of his future, he agreed to his grandfather¿s request. Phillip left his New York life, temporarily he hoped, and returned to the coastal Mississippi town where he grew up. So begins Cochrane Lambert¿s second novel, THREE FORTUNES IN ONE COOKIE. Once back in the family homestead, Phillip was waylaid by his aunts who had no idea their father had manipulated him into returning. They felt his homecoming was unnecessary because his mother was under control, and they feared Phillip¿s presence might unsettle her. Phillip was committed he had promised his grandfather he¿d look after her and planned to do just that. Determined to make the best of his situation, Phillip moved into a nearby artist¿s apartment on the third floor of a charming, stately old home in the midst of restoration. His housemates quickly became his good friends, and he seized the opportunity of his return to clear up an unresolved issue with his best friend from school, Chad. Resettled into his new old home, he visited his mother who greeted him with, ¿Welcome to Elavil, population one.¿ His mother¿s unpredictable words and moods had long been a source of personal torment and embarrassment, so when his new friends started to visit her, he felt like a bystander watching the different factions of his life come together on a collision course THREE FORTUNES IN ONE COOKIE has a well thought out, intricate plot, replete with richly developed characters, and a warm, interesting location. Though written in the third person, Cochrane Lambert¿s story is always seen through Phillip¿s eyes, making for an easy flowing read, never mired down in unnecessary detail. The plot moves along at a quick pace making the book hard to put down. Many interesting, perhaps trivial, facts are peppered throughout its pages, including some valuable life lessons, making THREE FORTUNES IN ONE COOKIE an educational experience, as well as a wonderfully enjoyable read. A highly recommended book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 16, 2009
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