M. M. Sana's Reviews > Recovering Charles

Recovering Charles by Jason F. Wright
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Jan 04, 2009

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Recommended to M. M. Sana by: "Jo"
Recommended for: People who wouldn't mind reading fiction about Hurricane Katrina!
Read in January, 2009 , read count: 1

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 Hurricane Katrina hit. It reads like nonfiction and many times I had to remind myself that while the images were things I had seen on TV and in person in Biloxi, MS, that the story itself was not real. The research on the hurricane had been done very well.

The father-son relationship has been captured very well. The estranged son that has dealt with his drunk father for many years after his mother's death. The emotional denial about his father... and the incredible twist as the book nears the end. All wonderfully written...

However, the weakness of the book I must say is Luke's relationship with his best friend Jordan. I understood the friendship completely. I understood that Jordan wanted more from the relationship and they had never been romantically involved and he was sure he wanted her in his life, but not as a romantic partner. He was supposed to fall in love at first sight. That was set up when Charles Millward tells his son how love at first sight feels.

So, he meets Bela. Love at first sight. I am not a believer of that, but it worked alright for the story... when the scene with Jordan, the best friend, and Luke take place after his return from New Orleans... when she tells him to "go find her" was so weak. First, when was Bela lost? Then, Jordan says her "not a good bye" then there they are everyone minus Jordan. Jordan should be there with him as the story ends because they don't stop being best friends. I was completely okay with the entire story and very satisfied as a reader until I got this feeling that Luke could always have either Bela or Jordan in his life, but not both at the same time (one as a best friend and the other as a romantic partner). I really thought the book would be much stronger if there was a scene where both Jordan and Bela have an interaction with eachother. That would've given a much better resolution to the book.

Overall, It was an okay book. I liked it because of the imagery and photographs shown (without a real prose) of Hurricane Katrina... BUT some of the relationships needed some work. The dialogue was well done. I felt like the author got sick of writing it and rushed to the end of the story.

I would not recommend this book to anyone who is still sensitive to the events of Hurricane Katrina, specially in New Orleans.
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Reading Progress

01/05/2009 page 30
10.42% "It has a good begining and seems like it will be a quick read."
01/06/2009 page 48
16.67% "It seems to go fast because of the language, the short sentences and chapters." 2 comments
01/08/2009 page 100
34.72% "So, he is finally on his way to New Orleans, and I am more and more captivated as he talks about his father and how kind he was."
01/09/2009 page 154
53.47% "As he sees the impact of Hurricane Katrina, it takes me back to Biloxi,MS where I went with a group to help with recovery. It is very sad!"
01/11/2009 page 178
61.81% "Ah! The details of Katrina are heart-breaking. AND why did Jordan suddenly disappear out of the story? Bela seems annoyingly perfect! Love?"
01/12/2009 page 288
100.0% "AAAH!I WANT MY LIFE BACK!!!BAD scene when Jordan tells him to go find Bela...I didn't know she was lost!Jordan was not at the funeral?WTF!?!"
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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M. M. Sana Yes! I felt so cheated, so "AAAAAAAAAAH! I WANT MY LIFE BACK!" As I wrote in my quick update. I didn't hate the book... and you said it so perfectly, "it wasn't balanced". That's it! I just couldn't verbalize that feeling and you did it very well. =D


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