Cannot wait to read these… these are the last library books…. for a while. Maybe. #betweenthedevilandthedeepbluesea #betweenthesparkandtheburn #aprilgenevieveticholke #booklove #libraryhaul #ilovereading #booknerd
A Lifetime to Die by P.S. Meronek
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
2.5 out of 5 stars
Part one. Prague 1968
We are introduced to Aristotle Mercury, a young man who has been taking care of his mother since his father died and their apartment was burned down one week later. This book really hooks you from page one. Part one is fast paced and not overly wordy. Aristotle soon discovers the truth behind his father’s accidental death and his uncle’s shady dealings with the factory his father helped him start. As young as he is at the beginning he is forced to be more mature and put aside the traditional path other kids his own age would be doing, such as school and dating, and taking on a full-time job. It is clear his family comes first. It’s interesting seeing his reactions as each major event unravels such as finding out his father his actually alive and trapped in an asylum for the criminally insane, His mother’s death, and the Russians invading Czechoslovakia. The only thing I don’t like are some of the transitions aren’t very clear and I had to go back and read through paragraphs to figure out if I was done with a memory and moving on to the next scene.
Part two. New York 1969
Aristotle has made it to New York and by luck has found a great apartment Greenwich village in the home of Mrs. Schroeder. He is also working as a carpenter on a construction site and taking English classes at NYU. Aristotle has already proven himself a quick study in Prague and improves upon that nature in New York. He stays focused on work and eventually his boss, Eric and landlady turned friend give him the push to think bigger, think ahead. They see his talent and suspect his leaving Czechoslovakia was more than finding the American dream. He finds his ambition and drive to do well and get ahead. Though he never loses sight of what drove him across continents and oceans, his parents death and uncle’s betrayal. It would border on slightly unbelievable how well he does and moves up but I’ve seen that drive and ambition from my own fellow immigrants here in America and I found myself flying through this section. I just hope his single mindedness for revenge doesn’t cause him to miss out of life. So much happens in part two that is subtle. The shift of Aristotle from lucky well to do youth into a shark of developer. It’s just a matter of time before the past catches up.
Part three. New York 1985. Part four New York to Los Angeles 1999. Part five LA to NYC 1999
Things get rather odd the rest of the book. I think Christina was unnecessary. It felt like the drive from the first two parts of the book was lost and never found again. Then it melted into a crazy rather melodramatic series of events. I’m not sure how I feel about this last half.
Over all it was okay. Definitely outside my usual genre and not really my cup of tea. It stated of strong and then fizzled out for me. If you’re into a crazy coming of age / mobsters in the background / borderline lifetime movie feel of a book, give it a go.
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