Fredsky's Reviews > This Is How

This Is How by M.J. Hyland
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Aug 16, 09

Read in August, 2009

The young man who struggles through this tale as the main character is in dire need of love. His fiance has broken up with him and he takes his huge toolbox with him to a small island in Great Britain to work as a mechanic at a garage. He has arranged for a bed and breakfast accommodation and he is ready to start life all over again. He meets his fellow lodgers and his young landlady. Before he can even get to his first day at work, his mother shows up, uninvited and unwelcome. She doesn't seem to understand why her son Patrick won't share everything with her. However, she instantly strikes up a friendship with the other members of the household while her son leaves the conversation, goes to his room, wraps a thick towel around his ball peen hammer and attacks the wall with vigor. Then he goes back downstairs again. This was one of my favorite scenes. This guy is torturing himself constantly over everything. Possibly all guys are like this in their early 20's, possibly ALL of us are like this right up to the end, I don't know. But his inner process is very clear. The writing is wonderful.

The characters alongside this visitor mechanic advance the plot and clue us in to his world there on that island. The two young men staying on as boarders engage with Patrick enough to raise his hopes for friendship, and then let him down somehow and tease him about it. The sarcasm, cynicism, public school snottiness and BBC English that confront Patrick frustrate him and confuse him. He's not sure if they are nice, or nasty, or indifferent and just having him on. And then, of course, there are the women.

Patrick's search for love and a new life pays off, unexpectedly, in the end. It's a brilliant novel, a direct probe into the mind of someone who isn't you... thank goodness. Or not.
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Fredsky The young man who struggles through this tale as the main character is in dire need of love. His fiance has broken up with him and he takes his huge toolbox with him to a small island in Great Britain to work as a mechanic at a garage. He has arranged for a bed and breakfast accommodation and he is ready to start life all over again. He meets his fellow lodgers and his young landlady. Before he can even get to his first day at work, his mother shows up, uninvited and unwelcome. She doesn't seem to understand why her son Patrick won't share everything with her. However, she instantly strikes up a friendship with the other members of the household while her son leaves the conversation, goes to his room, wraps a thick towel around his ball peen hammer and attacks the wall with vigor. Then he goes back downstairs again. This was one of my favorite scenes. This guy is torturing himself constantly over everything. Possibly all guys are like this in their early 20's, possibly ALL of us are like this right up to the end, I don't know. But his inner process is very clear. The writing is wonderful.

The characters alongside this visitor mechanic advance the plot and clue us in to his world there on that island. The two young men staying on as boarders engage with Patrick enough to raise his hopes for friendship, and then let him down somehow and tease him about it. The sarcasm, cynicism, public school snottiness and BBC English that confront Patrick frustrate him and confuse him. He's not sure if they are nice, or nasty, or indifferent and just having him on. And then, of course, there are the women.

Patrick's search for love and a new life pays off, unexpectedly, in the end. It's a brilliant novel, a direct probe into the mind of someone who isn't you... thank goodness. Or not.


message 2: by Erica (new)

Erica Ferencik wow, sounds interesting. great review!:)


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