Monday, November 22, 2010

Review: To Nourish & Consume

One of things I enjoy about reviewing books is the opportunity to have access to many books I' may not have picked up myself. I always like to expand my boundaries in reading and Ryan O' Reilly's book to Nourish &Consume. The title is based upon Shakespeare's "Sonnet 73". The main character Brian Falk is returning to his home town and with his parents. From the opening narration we are engulfed in Brian's narrative. I'm about ten years shy of Brian's generation but I know many friends and clients who are in his stage of life. Brian seems rudderless in  life. He is not focused so much on the fact that he's returning home but instead begins to recount his memories of Jacqueline Morgan and Dabney Dryden.
Jacqueline and Dabney were "summer Folk" in a town where Brian was a yearlong resident. it is a story we've heard before. A trio of friends, the center being Jaquelin who both boys love. The most surprising part of this is the secret passion Brian and Dabney shared.
Jacqueline though in the end chooses Dabney as a marriage partner. Leaving Brian heartbroken .When Brian comes home the mere mention of Jacqueline starts his feelings stirring even ten years later.
I was intrigued with this book up until the point that Jacqueline and Dabney were reintroduced. The problem with these characters is they have experienced little growth in their absence from Brian . They are thoughtless and cruel. As the story is fully relived through flashbacks I was even more turned off. It's possible that this was the intent since the story's focuses is on Brain reconciling with his past. I found the ending a little rushed and didn't really feel like Brian overcame the pair, more like fate stepped in to free him. there is a beautiful sense of language in this book and I was intrigued to see how it ended but overall I found my self slightly dissatisfied.
Ryan does excel at entering the mindset of a generation of "Brian's" struggling to find themselves in a rapidly changing world.
Thanks to Black Oak Press For the Review Copy of this book 


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