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A Job You Mostly Won't Know How to Do

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  573 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Five-time winner of the Pacific Northwest Bookseller Award Pete Fromm joins Counterpoint with his big-hearted new novel, a love story about family full of hope and resiliency and second chances

A taciturn carpenter has been too busy putting the final details on others' homes to pay much attention to his own fixer-upper. But when his wife becomes pregnant with their first ch
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Counterpoint LLC (first published May 2019)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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Angela M
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The first thing I thought of when I started reading this book was why haven’t I heard of Pete Fromm before now? This is one of those books that for me is hard to review without giving too much away, so I’m not going to focus on the plot, but rather how this book made me feel. Tragedy and grief is so hard to imagine if you haven’t experienced it in the same way as Taz, the main character, but the depth of it is so stunningly depicted here. The word heartbreaking is used pretty often , I think,
Kathryn in FL
This story was distinctly beautiful. The character's were very real and empathetic, you cared deeply for them and their challenges. The story was evocative of discovering the purpose of life, which is of course, loving others. Great joy and sorrow await Taz in his the first two years of fatherhood. However, it isn't just a tale of being a father but a husband, with a deep connection to his spouse, his soul mate.

The story hearkens to some other great contemporary classics (view spoiler)
Mary Lins
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: complete
“A Job You Mostly Won’t Know How to Do”, by Pete Fromm, starts out about a young couple in love, Taz and Marnie, expecting their first baby, and renovating their home while also looking for work as contractors. And then tragedy strikes, and we have a story about Taz brining his new baby home from the hospital, alone.

Written with pathos AND wit, Fromm masterfully brings us into Taz’ new world. I was amazed at how fascinating the details of new parenthood were from this unique perspective. There a
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Job You Mostly Won’t Know How to Do is a story of how grief takes over one man’s life and plunges him into the depths of despair and hopelessness. Taz’s friends refuse to give up on him even when he cuts himself off from them and isolates himself. His friend Rudy is particularly supportive, standing by and supporting Taz throughout both the good days and the bad ones. The emotions that this book depicts run the full gamut and are portrayed in a very realistic and believable way, making you ach ...more
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Being a parent is a job you mostly won’t know how to do. Particularly if you’re in your twenties and have very little money and your future is a work in progress. And especially if you’re suddenly forced to do it alone and grieving.

That is the situation that Taz finds himself in when he suddenly is plunged head first into fatherhood upon the death of his wife (which occurs right near the book’s beginning). Heartbroken, exhausted, aimless and overwhelmed, Taz barely gets by — and gets by only bec
Kasa Cotugno
Taz and Melanie are a 20-something couple, partners in every sense of the word. Early on, Melanie dies of a rare pulmonary embolism while giving birth, so Taz is faced with the almost impossible task of single parenthood from day one. His friends rally round, helping him find day care worker, trying to transition him back into the routines of life. This quiet novel examines what it means to grieve, to love, and how to accept life when it seems most cruel.
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Taz and Marnie are young and living on love. When a baby is on the way, they are ready to start their new lives as parents. The author takes us on a heartbreaking journey through grief when Taz has to live their dream without Marnie. The baby is the anchor that keeps him from floating away and an interesting cast of characters wraps around Taz as the story unfolds.
This was one of those books where I kept thinking of the characters after reading. The writing style was different, very relaxed and
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Who hurt Pete Fromm?? I thought If Not For This was his saddest novel I would read, turns out this one was equally as tragic. This is one of the books where you get hooked on the story from the very first pages (my favourite type of books). Very well-written. I was more interested in the first half about the relationship of a young father and his baby, rather than the second half about his relationship with someone else, going towards the end we could have predicted early on (also a few inaccura ...more
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such an enjoyable book.
One that you can read in one sitting or in small bite sized pieces as time allows. The emotion was raw and real. Pete Fromm I look forward to reading more of your work!!!
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
A solid 4 star, well crafted and true. I don't think the cover fits the novel very well, apart from maybe giving a hint of the bare, unadorned writing that lies within. It captures the simple lives of regular people in a way that makes you feel at home, and is a sweet story covering a hard centre of love and hope inside.
May 21, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sheila Garry
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it
A solid 3.75 book that I read on a whim. It’s about a man bringing up his daughter alone when his wife dies in childbirth. The dynamics between the father, his quirky best friend, the mother in law, and the babysitter are all drawn with a fine line. One that skirts the edges of despair yet also has you rooting for each character, pulling for each one to be able to see the light at the end of their mourning.
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I've read all of his books & this is my favorite! ...more
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
This story seemed a little dry at times, but I still enjoyed it. The main character was quirky and I liked the way he healed after such an event.
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I first started this book, I didn't think I was going to like it. But, because I was obligated to provide a review for the Amazon Vine program, I persevered and I'm so glad I did. By the end of the book, I was in tears -- probably for the last 50 to 75 pages or so.

This is a book that sneaks up on you. Fromm's writing style takes a bit of getting used to. (It was the reason why I didn't want to stick with the book in the first place.) It felt a bit choppy and was hard to get into. But, as I
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Marnie and Taz are busy lovingly restoring a fixer-upper that they hoped to fill with children, when they discover they are pregnant! Marnie is sure it is a girl. When she goes into labor, they grow excited at the prospect of their growing family and the start of their big plans for the perfect life together. Marnie was right, and the baby is a girl. But she dies giving birth to their daughter, changing forever the wonderful plans they had made. Taz wonders how he will go on. How does he live wi ...more
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This really should be a tear-jerker, but it’s written with a little less emotion than I would have liked...maybe that was on purpose as Taz’s character was pretty unemotional. It’s really a good cast of characters though and a sad, but heartwarming story.
Cindy Turner
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don’t often have the opportunity to start and finish a book in one sitting, but I highly recommend it. Maybe because of my good fortune that day, I find this to be my favorite of Fromm’s novels. I look forward to attending an author event at my local independent bookstore, and asking some personal questions. Surely he will be nominated for the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award for the 6th time!!
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
From the cover photo, the description, and the title, you might think that you know what this novel is about. But there is more that life leaves us unprepared for. Taz, the main character, is left as a widower with a newborn baby girl. As expected this is a tragedy that completely knocks out this character. But a baby has a way of making you open your eyes and face what needs to be done. But what Taz is also unprepared for is the level of grief he experiences, and how to let others into his life ...more
Mary Erickson
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A taciturn young carpenter's wife dies in childbirth, leaving him with an unfinished home, a loving relationship abruptly demolished---and a newborn girl. This is a lovely novel that follows the new father through the first two years of his daughter's life. We see the weight of grief upon him and eventually his tentative steps toward being open to new love. His friends and family relationships are well drawn. The author is quite expert at saying much with a minimum of words.

One less star becaus
Tasha Seegmiller
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The concept of this story had the potential to be either unbearably heavy or melodramatic, but a skillful writer like Fromm manages to keep the emotional weight in perfect balance. This is not to say the story won't break your heart, because it will. But the character development, the structure of the story in marking off time, the way that we see healing from this heartbreak, not as an unrealistic linear progression, but rather an ebb and flow of sorrow and joy made the whole book a delight to ...more
Angie Pemberton
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book gutted me, but I couldn’t stop reading it, and I won’t soon forget it. The loss was palpable, which was amazing given the scarcity of the writing. Loved the characters and how real they were.
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never read Fromm before. I think I'll have to give him another go.

His characters were very real, well drawn and well thought out. The story was at times heartbreaking and sad, yet funny and silly. Rude had to be my favorite character.
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's been a long time since I've read fiction. I loved this book - finished it in 6 days (which with long work days, 3 kids) is record speed. Usually I don't get books finished by the time they're due back to the library.
Glenn Roberts
Jun 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Not as good as Fromm's others. Too predictable.
Dolly Louvois
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely darling !
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-list
Oh, this was a significant departure from his non-fiction work, but a great read. It tells of love, heart-ache, the fear of parenting and of finding love again.
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a good book. The author took the horrific act of the unimaginable happening and turned it into something positive.
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

Sweet story about unspeakable loss. Well written and thought out. Characters interesting and well developed. Would recommend as a good read!
Leslie Lindsay
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Love, Loss, and oh gosh--an old house--a baby, and so much more in A JOB YOU MOSTLY WON'T KNOW HOW TO DO

4.5 stars.

I'm not sure why I haven't heard of Pete Fromm before, but oh--I am so glad I read A JOB YOU MOSTLY WON'T KNOW HOW TO DO (Counterpoint Press, May 7 2019). He's a five-time winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award and it's evident why: his writing is perceptive, big-hearted, authentic, and razor-sharp. And--it's about renovating an old house, a baby, and so
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Pete Fromm is a five time winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Literary Award for his novels IF NOT FOR THIS, AS COOL AS I AM and HOW ALL THIS STARTED, a story collection, DRY RAIN, and the memoir, INDIAN CREEK CHRONICLES. The film of AS COOL AS I AM, starring Claire Danes, James Marsden, and Sarah Bolger was released in 2013. He is the author of four other short story collections and has p ...more

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