William Au's Reviews > The Law of Similars

The Law of Similars by Chris Bohjalian
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's review
Mar 10, 10

it was amazing
Read in March, 2010

"The Law of Similars" is an astonishing novel about the hardships Leland Fowler faces when he loses his wife in a car crash, leaving him with grief and his young daughter.

The most pleasurable aspect of this book is definitely the character development of Leland. Chris Bohjalian develops Leland's character very uniquely by using Leland himself; everything he does and thinks constantly revealing more to Leland's character throughout the entire book. "I raise my daughter. I go to work. And though some days it is very hard, I try not to live for the future. And I try not to dream of the past"(Bohjalian, 330), is what Leland says resolutely after going through every emotion possible such as grief, despair, infatuation, it really shows how his character evolves after many life experiences and it becomes something everyone can relate to which makes this one of the most enjoyable element of the novel.

An intriguing aspect of the book would be the use of homeopathy. Like cures like, the law of similars which is the basis of homeopathy, the same method of treatment Carissa Lake use to cure Leland’s cold and sore throat. The intriguing part of homeopathy is that the cure didn’t only help his cold, but it had given him a boost of confidence. This allowed Chris Bohjalian to use the effects of homeopathy as a catalyst for romance as Leland’s new found courage became the starting point with his relationship with Carissa Lake. Using the combination of love and non-traditional medicine, Chris cunningly turns Leland's frown upside down and allows us to look past all the grief and despair of Leland’s character, the other side to him.

I strongly recommend this book especially if you enjoyed reading Chris Bohjalian’s other novel “Midwives.” The two novels written by Chris may seem very similar including the unfortunate deaths leading on to legal trouble but it is extraordinarily different as each person reacts differently even in the same situation. I see the different reactions as Chris Bohjalian’s intention as he writes amazing books about people in difficult situations.
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