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Recovering Charles
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Recovering Charles

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  1,907 ratings  ·  543 reviews
Everything was fine until the phone call. Luke Millward had a good job, a great girlfriend, and, he thought, a happy, meaningful life. Then came the late-night message about his father missing in post-Katrina New Orleans. It was if that one call awakened a sleeping man. An arresting fiction by the author of Christmas Jars and The Wednesday Letters.
Audio CD, 4 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Shadow Mountain (first published 2008)
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If ever a book was to get a "meh" rating, this would be it. Not bad but not necessarily good, Recovering Charles tells the story of a son who finds a way to forgive his alcoholic father by searching for him throughout the wake of Hurricane Katrina's devastation. Like most "meh" books, it has some highs and lows.

The highs would be the description of New Orleans. For the first time, I felt a deep sense of horror and urgency about saving that great city. Blame it on the over-saturation we get from...more
Janie Johnson
This book was a part of my "Why Did I Not Read These Books" challenge. And I am so glad that I chose this one to be a part of this challenge. Jason F. Wright is a first time read for me and I have to say I was not disappointed in this book. I was kind of surprised to see some of the low ratings for this book because I found it to be a great read, very touching, very emotional.

In this book we have a Luke who is a photo journalist and then we have Charles who is sax player. Charles can't deal with...more
I was asked to preview this book for our book club...otherwise I probably would have never picked it up. I wish I hadn't anyway. I would have actually given it two stars up until the "surprise twist" ending. Nobody in their right minds would have acted the way the characters in this story did. Also, I wonder if I were a victim/survivor of Katrina, or at least searching for a loved one who was, if this book would have offended me.
Heather the Hillbilly Banjo Queen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
M. M. Sana
Oct 16, 2010 M. M. Sana rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who wouldn't mind reading fiction about Hurricane Katrina!
Recommended to M. M. Sana by: "Jo"
This book is written appropriately in short sentences that provide the reader with vivid images, considering that the main character in the book is a photographer. The author does a beautiful job organizing two timelines of his character's present grown-up life in Manhattan, NY as a photographer and his childhood in Texas.

Luke Millward sits in his studio appartment and obssessively watches the news as they show New Orleans under water... images that perhaps we all have seen in the news when Hur...more
Oct 14, 2008 Lyn rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those curious about what really happened after Katrina
Shelves: adult
I truly appreciated a first-hand look at post-Katrina, New Orleans, without the biased, self-serving spin of the media or political figures. The story was charming and carried me along beautifully until the last chapter.

Wright spends the whole book weaving us into a very conflicted dysfunctional family. His main character has spent years trying to come to grips with his emotional baggage. Then, at the very height of all the drama, in a "pulled the rug out from under you" kind of move, he wraps...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather Murphy
Nov 22, 2008 Heather Murphy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heather by: Bookclub
A stirring relationship between a son and his father about love, forgiveness and the emotional connections with the past. Can Luke survive all these emotional burdens? What will he do with the knowledge he gains? Can he heal? Will he move forward?
The setting is New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I grew to love the city (I’ve never visited) from the descriptions in the book.
Written by an LDS author but without any clues to his religion therein other than good values, etc....more
This is the first book I've read by Jason Wright and I plan to read his others soon. Luke Millward is a son who's decided to find his father in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He heads to New Orleans with mixed feelings regarding his alcoholic father and their past relationship.

I loved the book and felt a personal connection because of issues I've had with persons in my life who have been addicted to alcohol. The myriad of feelings you are faced with as you each struggle with the relationsh...more
Aug 07, 2009 Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults, preteen 12+
“Every life has a second verse” is the theme reiterated throughout Jason Wright’s latest novel, Recovering Charles. Luke Millward receives a phone call that turns his normal life upside down. On the heels of Hurricane Katrina, Luke is told that his father is missing in New Orleans. Estranged from his father for many years, Luke decides to make the journey and join in the search. The search for his father turns out to be a discovery of the soul—both past the present for Luke.

This novel was a won...more
This book was so much fun for me to read! We went to church with the Wrights(the author) in Fair Oaks and then we moved out to the Woodstock Branch which so happens to be where Jason and his family live now... so anyway in this book he has used names of people he knows, so 90% of the characters names were of people I knew as well. It was so exciting to read and hear characters introduce who are actually like the person's real name, and also when characters are introduce who are nothing like thei...more
Nov 22, 2008 JaLae rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody!
Absolutely one of the worst books I have ever read. I know this sounds harsh but I think a combination of the writing style, the bland dialogue, the anti-climactic ending.....and a lot of other worthless things between the pages. The only problem with me is when I committ to read a book, it doesn't matter how bad it is....I must finish. I becomes personal and much like this book-it became a challenge. I've met the challenge and can gratefully move on...
I really enjoyed this story... the end surprised but made sense, I learned things about the Katrina aftermath that I didn't learn from the news coverage... I thought it was a beautifully written story with plenty of humor as well as insightful portrayals of human nature. I learned a little something about myself!
Very depressing. Although, the history of hurricane Katrina and the aftermath was spot on.
Not a book for someone who has gone through tough times with family members, and has not had the closure they have been dreaming of. As for myself there will be no second chance.
This is a very predictable book about a young photographer who goes in to the aftermath of Katrina in search of his estranged father. Everyone he meets loves the guy so it is clear that when he actually finds him his opinion will be drastically altered.
This is a moving story about a man searching for his father after Hurricane Katrina. It really brings home how devastating this disaster was, and how things like this bring out amazing things in people.
Jonelle Tiffany Boulter
Eh. This was just an okay book. I thought the story was a little bland. I thought it was going to be more exciting but I felt like the story droned on longer than necessary and it was a short book.
I'm rating it three stars for a couple of reasons. 1) It was clean. No language or violence or adult content. I love good clean reads. 2) The history was great. I lived to witness (on television) the events of both Hurricane Katrina and 9/11/01. I thought the account of what it must have been like to...more
If you want an "outsider's" perspective of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, this is a good book. It gives yoiu a taste of the effects, with a story line and a twist!
I had extremely low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed the subtle references to the Church. Gotta love those Mormon authors!
I enjoyed this book much more than I had expected to. Although it was quite sad and indeed thoroughly depressing at times, it got me thinking about things I had never really dwelled on before. I've led a relatively sheltered life, without many of the horrors others face daily, and really have not thought very much about it. I guess you could say I have been selfish although not intentionally. This book has enabled me to look beyond my own life and attempt to see the suffering others in the world...more
I picked this book up on a clearance table because I liked the author. I really enjoyed it. Luke Millward is a New York photographer who receives a phone call regarding his long estranged father, Charles, following Hurricane Katrina. The story follows his journey to New Orleans in his somewhat feeble attempt to "recover" his father, and Luke's relationship with him.

Things I liked:
1- Well defined characters. Each one was unique and likeable. Jerome and his booming voice, Jez and her ever-present...more
I read this book for book club. Previously, I had never heard of this book. I would never had read this book had it not been chosen for book club.
I ended up not liking this book very much. Mostly because it is such a downer but I ended up giving it three stars because the mood of the book was kinda the point.
I felt pity for Luke. He got the short end of the stick and was trying to make the best out of his life. Everyone seemed to just give up around him and then they would leave. His father had...more
This is Jason Wright's best-written book yet! He employs excellent interweaving of the present and past to create a story that engages you and teaches you something as well. The New Orleans portion of Hurricane Katrina is something I've struggled to understand better, and this book takes you THERE. I was walking the deserted, grimy streets; I was floating in a longboat among household items, family pictures, and corpses. It is not a gruesome or horrifying story, but you become very sympthetic to...more
My new friend gave me a copy of Recovering Charles by Jason F. Wright for Christmas last week. So sweet. It was perfect to read during the small moments of free time during the holiday.

Luke Millward has discovered success as a free-lance photographer in New York City when he gets a call from a friend of his estranged father. He discovers that his father has been living and working as a musician in New Orleans and is missing following the Katrina disaster. Halfheartedly, Luke heads to Louisiana t...more
I thought the author did a good job of moving the story in two directions: through the main character's memories of his past (specifically scenes with his parents) and through the events currently unfolding in the main character's life. I felt the transitions between the two were seamless, and that the episodes from the past were well placed, given at a time where you could digest them without them immediately being relevant in the current time. Does that make sense? :)

It was a hard read in som...more
Ok, we read this for our book club and while I appreciated a lot of what went on in this book there were a couple of things that bothered me. First the way they do things (I can't say a lot more or I'll start to spoil the book) is really upsetting! I also felt like his dad's friends were especially harsh to him. Yes I know he needed to work through forgiving his dad BUT it's not unreasonable the hesitation he feels towards their insistence that his dad has changed. Since his teenage years he's b...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was a 2 1/2 stars for me because although I didn't get too emotionally involved into the story it was still a gripping tale of family dynamics and the horrific effects that mother nature can have on our beautiful earth and mankind. Having lived in the areas of hurricanes I can truly understand that life is precious and that one storm can change the way your neighborhood looks and affect you in ways that you didn't know were possible...i.e. having a desire to always be prepared for a moments...more
Jul 26, 2008 Teri rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Teri by: Jason Wright sent me a rough draft early this year.
I got a rough draft of Recovering Charles from Jason a few months ago, but when I started to read it the other evening, I found out that my ISP program had crashed and lost half my saved folders, so was able to get a new final copy to read on my computer. WOW!!!! Jason has done it again, but with New Orleans and the aftermath of Katrina the setting for Jason's newest masterpiece, has really brought forgiveness, redemption and faith together. The beauty of this story and the images we can visuali...more
This book was okay. I found the story very interesting at first: Charles, who is the father of the narrator, was formerly a successful architect and had lost everything after turning to alcohol to cope with his wife's depression/Rx addiction/eventual suicide. Charles only salvation after losing his career and damaging his relationship with his son Luke (the narrator, and successful photographer who has built a life for himself in NYC) comes from playing saxophone. After many failed attempts at t...more
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good...but I wasn't ready for the ending. 2 30 Jan 07, 2009 07:00PM  
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Jason Wright is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author.

Jason is a weekly columnist for the Deseret News and Northern Virginia Daily and articles by Jason have appeared in over 50 newspapers and magazines across the United States including The Washington Times, The Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. He is the author of The James Miracle (2004); Christmas Jars (2005); The W...more
More about Jason F. Wright...
The Wednesday Letters Christmas Jars The Seventeen Second Miracle The Cross Gardener The Wedding Letters

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