Thursday, July 19, 2007

LOTTERY by Patricia Wood

LOTTERY, the debut novel by Patricia Wood will hit the shelves on August 2nd, but you can reserve your copy now!
Pat's blog:

See Pat.

See Pat's cat.

See Pat signing foreign rights to her debut novel, LOTTERY.

See Pat run to the laundromat for her radio interview because there's no landline telephone on the sailboat she lives on in Hawaii.
Run, Pat! Run!
Patricia Wood was one of my first mentor-type Blog Buddies. She told me I had great 'voice,' critted my query and first five pages, and posted cheerful pictures of Hawaii on her blog just for me when I felt sad after I lost my baby. I've read her blog from before she found an agent, was riveted with tension when LOTTERY went to auction, and cheered with her when she landed a deal. Her generous personality is transparent to all and, lemme tell ya, she's won a LOT of readers on that strength alone!
Okay, enough gushing. On with the review!
LOTTERY is receiving lots of attention and high praise everywhere from BEA to Redbook magazine. So, I'm honored Pat sent an ARC to me, an amatear reviewer. I could NOT speed-read this book and that's saying a lot, because I'm an extremely impatient reader. When a book grabs me by the metaphoric throat, you know I love it!
Pat made me love Perry L. Crandell on the very first page. Perry was handed over to his grandparents as a baby while his father ran off to God-knows-where and his mother did whatever the heck she wanted. His brothers and sister hardly say boo and they're all lawyers. Not all lawyers are bad, yanno. I nannied for some wonderful ones! But, these ones are nasty.
Perry is slow, but not retarded. He has an I.Q. of 76, which a point above the cut-off line for being retarded. That doesn't stop people from treating him like crap or talking over him like he's not there. Gram doesn't merely take care of Perry. She's his champion. She tells him he can do anything anyone else can, but it just might take longer. She teaches him to go through the dictionary every day and write new words in his journal. By the time the story starts, Perry is taking care of Gram who is getting very old.
What really struck me about the first part of the book was how wonderful Gram is compared to her children. I've seen this in real life before. The kids turn out awful, but the grandparents get a second chance at parenting by raising a grandchild.
Gram dies. Better buy a new box of Kleenex for this part. Her children descend on her house like vultures with no regard for Perry, except to see him as a problem that has to be dealt with in a way that won't inconvenience them. They take all her good stuff. They dupe Perry into signing Power of Attorney over to them, so they can sell the house and take the money. Gram had wanted the house to go to Perry because her children were all lawyers able to make lots of money and he had only her and that house. Lesson: Always write a will!
Now, Perry is homeless. Enter: True Friends. Perry's been taught to care for boats at the marina and he's very good at his job. His boss offers him the apartment over the shop. They take care of him when he's crying and get irate on his behalf with his family shaft him. There's Gary, his boss, Keith, co-worker, and Cherry, the cashier at the convenience store.
Perry wins the Lottery. I think you can imagine what happens next! The family descends on Perry like a flock of buzzards onto a gut wagon.
While Perry navigates that chaos with the help of these friends, he falls deeply in love with Cherry. I loved Cherry. She is so real. She's a plus-size girl and - trust me - you'll NEVER put up with another pencil-thin blond bimbo in your novels again!
On second thought, better run to Costco and buy a shrink-wrapped lot of at least three boxes of Kleenex before you start this book. If you're a man and want to appear manly, just pretend you have allergies.
There is some swearing in this book, but nothing more than you'd hear on the street. There is a little nookie, but it's not graphic and is well-supported by the story. There are no gimmicks or sensationalism in this novel. Just awesome storytelling.
We will be throwing a Cyber-Launch Book Party for Pat right here on August 2nd. If you're unfamiliar with what that it is, scroll down to the ones we threw for Michelle Moran and Lisa Sheerin. Also, Susan Grant's cyber-launch is saved in the old archives of my Star Captains' Daughter blog under the link, Star Captains' Log.
Way to go, Pat.
P.S. I apologize for the goofed-up format. Blogger keeps jamming my paragraphs together today!


Polly Kahl said...

HI there, I found this blog through Pat Woods, what fun! Great review, but may I suggest taking out some of the plot? I love Lottery too and I would hate to see someone enjoy it a little less due to already knowing some of the many fun little surprises scattered throughout the book. Sorry to leave this as a comment but I don't see any contact info here.

Kimber An said...

Thanks for popping in, Polly!

I'll alter the review if Pat wants me to. After reading the ARC, this is what I felt was necessary to set up the story.

Gwyneth Bolton said...

I can't wait to read this book! I'm so happy for Pat. It sounds like a story that's going to have be crying a lot. I like that... it's like therapy...


Kimber An said...

Yeah, it is therapeutic.

ORION said...

Much aloha for the great review Kimber an!
I think we authors struggle between having reviewers understand and write glowingly about our work and the anxiety producing angst of wondering if too much of the plot is revealed.
Polly makes a good point.
I would be interested in other commenters opinions about this.
What do you think?

M. G. Tarquini said...

Great review, Kimber An! Yeah, it's a little heavy on the plot, but I think you get the point across that this is a work well worth reading.


Kimber An said...

Hey, M.G.!

It's difficult to know where to draw the line. On one hand it's the unique details of LOTTERY which sets it apart from all the other novels in any given bookstore. In my opinion, this is a huge selling point. Figuring out how to give Blog Buddies a taste of those unique details without revealing too much plot is tricky. Remember, I'm an unpaid amateur. I just do my best with the books I love. If any author is unhappy with an Enduring Romance review, I can delete it.

Michelle Moran said...

Fantastic review -- and it sounds like a fantastic book. Mine is already on pre-order!!

Kimber An said...

Thanks, Michelle.

Michelle's debut novel, NEFERTITI, has been on the shelves for a week now.

LadyBronco said...

I lovedlovedloved this story!

Perry swiftly climbed his way up my rankings of favorite characters.

Way to go Pat - I am patiently waiting for August 2nd so I can scoot my rear on down to B&N & grab my hardcover copy!

Kimber An said...

Hi, Lady B. I've been in a dilemma over the hardcopy. I wanted to give the ARC to my Mom, so I'd have an excuse to buy the hardcopy for myself. But, the ARC is autographed! And the hardcopy won't be.

Did you all read that Marva's book, TALES OF A TEXAS BOY, is coming out in Large Print? That's another one for Mom.

LadyBronco said...

My mom is reading my ARC right now, but I'm still buying the hardcover.

They will sit side-by-side on my shelves in my library. When we finally have the money to but the shelves, that is. lol...

Tia Nevitt said...

It sounds lovely and it must be thrilling to see your friend make it into print

Laurie said...

Great review, Kimber. I was happy to get a sense of the story. I've got this one on pre-order, too. Now I'm even more anxious to get it.

The buzz sounds tremendous. Can't wait to see what happens when it hits. I've been telling all my friends and co-workers to look for it.

ORION said...

You guys are the best!! Thanks a bunch - Barnes and Noble are already allowing reviews to be posted on LOTTERY.
Ya hoo!!!!
Thanks Kimber an