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Posted August 19, 2011
Posted May 11, 2011
Do you believe in fate? Albert and Joey do.
Albert is a 39 year old married Puerto-Rican delivery driver, with unfulfilled ambitions to be a famous boxer, who bumps into (literally and figuratively) Joey, a 20 year old gay college student, and an instant rapport develops. They have much in common: dysfunctional childhoods, loneliness, and seemingly unrealistic goals. But what really unites them is the fact that each has a dark secret, Albert from more than a decade ago, and Joey from a recent, quick trip home to Maine, during which time his parents died in a fiery car accident. There is more than sufficient reason for one not to trust the other, but they become closer each day, and make plans to leave Chicago together. When Albert's distant, conniving wife hears of his plans, and when Joey's manipulative sister Lilly decides to confront her brother about their parents' death, fate may deal them both another losing hand.
Barnes crafts a complex, imaginative, character-driven suspense/romance novel with realistic, gritty people and situations, which make the book a definite page-turner and a must-read for those who appreciate such originality. Though the characters have significant negative experiences, the overall tone celebrates the ability of people to cope and rebound from past setbacks. Five stars out of five.
- Bob Lind, Echo Magazine