In this debut from Kevin St. Jarre (Encircle Publications, November 2020) when Tom Tibbets finds himself in a small town in New Hampshire writing refrigerator news for the local rag, he realizes the people in his apartment complex are far more compelling. While discussing his situation with his boss, he earns himself a job profiling the many tenants and gets more than he bargained for. Through numerous interviews with the tenants, which include the mentally ill, a self-proclaimed autodidact, alien believers, and a pair of brothers that like to blow stuff up, Tom’s personal life becomes hopelessly entangled, forcing him to examine his values and beliefs.
While it wasn’t the science fiction novel I was expecting when I received an ARC, it is a charming novel. The tenderness with which the author approaches his characters, not only creating relatable flaws but making the extraordinary decision to not judge them for their shortcomings and eccentricities, feels genuine and refreshing.
The deeper the main character digs, the more I was reminded that there is something to love about everyone if you know how to look.
St. Jarre’s quirky little community is a warm embrace for readers feeling adrift.
Categories: Book Reviews