Maybe a Miracle

Maybe a Miracle

by Brian Strause
4.2 16


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Maybe a Miracle by Brian Strause

In this disarming debut, Brian Strause has written a vastly entertaining novel about an American family transfixed by a series of mysterious events. From a comfortable suburb of Columbus, Ohio, emerges a story of rebellion, faith and hope, bridging the cultural gap between those who believe in miracles and those who wish they could.

Monroe Anderson–as quiet on the outside as he is sardonic and alive on the inside–has spent most of his eighteen years trying to fly beneath the radar. If he can remain invisible, he believes, his sadistic older brother, a rising golf star, might not torment him, his workaholic father, a renowned litigator, might not notice him long enough to be disappointed, and his mother might not have to struggle so hard to find a hopeful word. The only people who glimpse the real Monroe are his girlfriend, Emily, and his eleven-year-old sister, Annika.

On the night of his senior prom, Monroe finds Annika floating facedown in the family pool. He dives in and rescues her, but not quickly enough to prevent her from slipping into a coma. As the family copes with this crisis, Monroe’s mother turns to religion, his father turns to liquor, and Monroe himself must decide what’s worth believing in, what’s worth fighting for, and, finally, who he wants to be.

By turns humorous and heartbreaking, personal and sweeping, familiar and extraordinary, Brian Strause’s mesmerizing novel takes readers on an unforgettable emotional journey into America’s heartland.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812975192
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/30/2006
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.22(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.78(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Brian Strause was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, and now lives in Silver Lake, California.


Silver Lake, California

Date of Birth:

October 5, 1967

Place of Birth:

Columbus, Ohio


B.A., Grinnell College, 1990; M.F.A., The American Film Institute, 1995

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Maybe a Miracle 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do not like the message that this book protrays. Luckily I got this book for 50cents at a garage sale so I am able to be okay with throwing it into the recycle bin (first book I ever put in the recycle bin). It bashes Christianity. I kept waiting for the pivotal moment when the charater realizes there is a God but that never came. Then Annika wakes up and she is an ungrateful little girl who also doesn't recognize that God is real. So if you are not a Christian this probably is a great book but if you are don't bother reading to the end because the main charaters never come to light. WASTE OF MY TIME!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
As much as i liked this book i found it sickening and pretty much rude how many times the word 'retard' was used. it came to the point were i just didnt want to read the book anymore. truthfully i dont get the whole reason of that word. i never use it, maybe its just me or maybe its b.c my little sister has downs, i dont know. dont get me wrong it was a good book with a happy ending but when you're writing a book about God and faith why have a word like that in it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
couldn't put it down, funny, sad, though-provoking, inspiring
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. There were many incidents I didn't see coming, which always makes for a good book. However, after the climax, the rest of the book just fizzled out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A wonderful book with slight tones of 'The Lovely Bones' and 'Catcher in the Rye'. A really excellent read, with thought-provoking subjects.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Maybe a Miracle is a thought-provoking debut book for Brian Strause. Many small but significant insights and quirky characters add to the appeal of the book. A very skeptic book, it appeals to sarcastic minds moreso than others, though a good read for anyone. While reading the book, many of the comments did make me stop and think... why is using God's name in vain more offensive to a Christian than using a vulgar word not tied to God? Monroe is an average teenager, one that could be seen walking the halls of a high school right now.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Seen through his sharp observing eye the teenager Monroe Anderson presents his world to us curious readers in a witty and sometimes unmercifully sarcastic way. We form a rather intimate relationship with him. He tells us things he wouldn't convey to anybody in his surroundings. Monroe is a quiet person and he knows how to stay almost invisible in order to protect himself. That becomes his main survival strategy. Moreover, also his isolation. I am sure that many teenagers will easily identify with his character. The writer Brian Strause employs his technique very skillfuly. He engages us quickly in the fate of the whole Anderson family and he keeps us interested throughout the whole story. Monroe's younger sister Annika has an accident with an unexpected outcome and we will follow the situation that presents a considerable stress to all members of the family and consequently changes their lives in a drastic manner. The book shows us how different people cope with a stressful situation that for them has life changing consequences. However, this book has more to offer than a plot. It is also an investigation about the nature of faith, shortcomings of science, unexplainable fenomena and it highlights also the limiting ways in which we normaly live our lives. All that in a very gentle and unintrusive style but with a persistence that can't be ignored. The novel is engaging but Brian Strause will not write the main point of the book on the black board for us. We need to feel and think for ourselves and find how the story relates to our own lives and the way we choose to live them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is not typically the type of book I read. I only ended up reading it because it was my book club's selection. I really liked the author's easy, natural writing style. I also found the subject matter tragedy and all that follows. Unfortunately, the whole religious aspect and final point of this novel were lost on me. What caused Annika's bleeding? Why did her environment always smell like roses? What about the spontaneous action of the snow globe? If it wasn't God, what caused those things to occur? Strause is at once suggesting and at the same time denouncing an other-wordly presence. And what was the point of Annika's becoming a world-wide religious icon? To prove Christianity right or to prove it wrong? The whole religious aspect of this book seemed like a wrong turn...but I suspect to the author, and others, that it was the whole point! I despised Annika's reaction to her ordeal once she woke up. She hated becoming a spectacle, but perhaps she benefited from all of those prayers. And her treatment of her mother would make any mother cringe. Any mother who lost a child to death or a persistent vegetative state would do ANYTHING to get their child back. Blaming that mother for doing what she did is a horrific crime in my opinion. Annika's awakening was very anti-climactic. She woke up no wiser, no more grateful for life, and a bit too snippy for my taste. Her coma should have meant something much more than a 2 1/2 year nap to her. The whole story just seemed to unravel a bit at the end. A good first novel, but not exactly my cup of tea. I would read another book by this author and hope for a bit more purpose to the story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a gem this book is! With a story as fresh and bizarre as you could hope for, and a young narrator that views the world through prematurely jaded eyes, this wonderful debut novel carries readers along on a weird new path through very familiar landscape. Set in suburban America, the lifestyle and characters are known to us all, but the family tragedy that turns life into an everyday circus makes 'Maybe a Miracle' far more compelling than your average family drama. Monroe, the narrator, is a wonderful story teller-- his take on the events that unfold is cynical and wry, but with an unmistakable tenderness and longing for a return to normalcy. He wishes he could be more optimistic about the future of his comatose beloved little sister, but it doesn't seem to be in his nature. However, while he doubts his mother's certainty that Annika is 'still in there', just to play it safe he plays Parliament Funkadelic records for her, to balance out the Neil Diamond their mother is blasting her with. His voice and his actions ring true on every page. But truer still are the confessions he makes to us, the readers. He tells us the things he would never speak aloud-- not to his parents, who probably wouldn't listen anyway, and certainly not to his sadistic older brother, who takes every word or action from Monroe as a new opportunity to humiliate and abuse him. But as the readers, we get to hear the whole story-- his bitterness, his fear, and his hope, quickly fading though it is. I found myself cheering him on at times, wanting to throttle him at others, but always caring what happened next. This book is touching, compelling, and very funny. My only disappointment is the book's title 'Maybe a Miracle' is far too lackluster and simpering to really give a reader any glimpse of how cool this book is.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Maybe a Miracle,' a book about faith. Faith in a situation, faith in yourself. About believing in something bigger than yourself. I can't say after reading this book if it was enjoyable or not. This is almost an eye-opening book whether you want it to or not. An emotional journey that isn't one you'd pick to travel. However, it's almost one of those journeys everyone should take. Whether your religious or not, this is worth your time. A tragedy strikes immediately in this book. The tragedy strikes just as the reader feels they have a relationship with the characters. During Annika's hospital stay her brother explains Annika's situation, and her diagnosis is horrific. This almost made me want to quit reading. I didn't think I could take over two hundred more pages of sadness. I pushed on and kept going. With any horrible family tragedy comes other circumstances. People change, attitudes change, your friends are no longer your friends, or you find your real friends. You 'might' find your faith. With the situation with Annika, we see what happens in this family, we witness faith and yeah, 'maybe a miracle.' A few times I wanted to quit reading. I found some of the 'miracle' that happened to Annika just so crazy. But for Monroe's sake I wanted to find out what happens to him, and he puts things into perspective, so I managed to hang on. I'm sure glad I did. I learned a little something about believing in miracles, believing in things when no one else will. Believing in family. Without these miracles in life, where would we be? An amazing book, sometimes difficult to stay with, but push on, it's worth it in the end.