Thursday, December 19, 2019

Book Review: "A Beginner's Guide to Free Fall" by Andy Abramowitz

A little familial and marital dysfunction, along with a few crises of self-esteem, never hurt anyone!!

Everyone likes Davis Winger. He’s funny, good-natured, a devoted husband and father, a loving brother and son. He has a great job designing roller coasters and other rides, which meshes well with his personality.

When a mishap on a ride he designed occurs, his job is threatened. At the same time, the one lapse in judgment he's made in his marriage comes to light, and suddenly he finds himself without work, living in a dismal apartment, as he tries to figure out how to get his wife back, preserve his relationship with his young daughter, and figure out his next step career-wise.

Meanwhile, Davis’ sister Molly, a journalist for a struggling newspaper, has doubts about her relationship with a younger man and is trying to find inspiration for a story that might help the newspaper gain advertisers again. When she finds that idea she realizes it is simply a manifestation of a major issue in her own life, but she's not quite willing to deal with that, and she's not prepared for the response this story idea will be met with. At the same time, she needs to figure out what she wants from life.

As Davis tries to convince his wife to take him back, and he interacts with a few of his fellow residents at the apartment building, he is in need of perhaps a little humility, while Molly could use an injection of self-esteem.

"We're all terribly unsure of ourselves, he'd said, each one of us tunneling toward something strange."

A Beginner's Guide to Free Fall is an engaging, fun, emotional book with characters I really enjoyed. A few years ago I read Andy Abramowitz’s first novel, Thank You, Goodnight, and liked that, too, so I do enjoy the way he writes and tells stories of everyday people struggling to find their place.

I felt like the book moved a bit too slowly and the characters hemmed and hawed a bit too much before things really got moving. But still, I cared about the characters and wanted to see how everything was resolved. It reminded me a little of a Jonathan Tropper book, although not as uproariously funny.

Amazon First Reads and Lake Union Publishing gave me a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available!

The book will publish January 1, 2020.

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