How To Be Good

If you're actually looking for answers on this subject, Nick Hornby's book is not the place to find them. But it's quite a ride, as usual.

For the first time, Hornby tells a tale from the female perspective, and in the first person, no less. It is the story of a doctor whose husband undergoes a spiritual epiphany and the fallout that occurs as a consequence. Filled with eccentric characters and engaging storylines, it is as funny as anything he's done.

Unfortunately, I wasn't entirely convinced by the protaganist. There seemed to be something missing, and I couldn't figure out if that was Hornby's intention, or a result of his inability to convincingly portray women. Regardless, I sometimes found myself thinking that the "hero" of the piece was the least interesting thing about it.

At the heart of this novel lie redemption, the struggle to better oneself, letting go of unrealistic dreams, and discovering priorities. The point is, of course, that there aren't any easy answers. That maybe the struggle to be "good" is what it is all about. Not the destination but the journey, blah blah blah. That all this happens to an ordinary family in an ordinary town is supposed to bring home the idea that this struggle is common to all of us. Which is a little trite, to be sure, but on the mark nonetheless.

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