Summary (from Goodreads):
“Call it fate. Call it synchronicity. Call it an act of God. Call it . . . The Good Luck of Right Now. From the New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook comes an entertaining and inspiring tale that will leave you pondering the rhythms of the universe and marveling at the power of kindness and love.
For thirty-eight years, Bartholomew Neil has lived with his mother. When she gets sick and dies, he has no idea how to be on his own. His redheaded grief counselor, Wendy, says he needs to find his flock and leave the nest. But how does a man whose whole life has been grounded in his mom, Saturday mass, and the library learn how to fly?
Bartholomew thinks he’s found a clue when he discovers a “Free Tibet” letter from Richard Gere hidden in his mother’s underwear drawer. In her final days, mom called him Richard—there must be a cosmic connection. Believing that the actor is meant to help him, Bartholomew awkwardly starts his new life, writing Richard Gere a series of highly intimate letters. Jung and the Dalai Lama, philosophy and faith, alien abduction and cat telepathy, the Catholic Church and the mystery of women are all explored in his soul-baring epistles. But mostly the letters reveal one man’s heartbreakingly earnest attempt to assemble a family of his own.
A struggling priest, a “Girlbrarian,” her feline-loving, foul-mouthed brother, and the spirit of Richard Gere join the quest to help Bartholomew. In a rented Ford Focus, they travel to Canada to see the cat Parliament and find his biological father . . . and discover so much more.”
I’ve loved Matthew Quick since I read his second novel, Sorta Like a Rock Star. Since then, I’ve read all his other books and each one has been incredible. This one is no exception.
The thing about Matthew Quick’s main characters is that they’ll break your heart. I loved Bartholomew, but he just absolutely shattered me at the same time. He’s clearly got problems, but there are also clues throughout the novel that he’s not as simple as he may appear to be (in other words, that he’s pretending to perceive things a certain way, as opposed to actually seeing them that way).
I also love the idea behind the title, which is that there is a certain balance to the universe and that when bad things happen to you, good things are happening to someone else. I don’t necessarily believe that life is a zero-sum game and that good things happening to others mean that they won’t happen to you, but I do plan to start reframing things so that, when bad things are happening to me, try to remember that maybe someone else will get a break because of it.
I loved Bartholomew’s mom in the glimpses of her that we got from him and through his eyes. I wish that we could’ve spent more time with her.
This isn’t my favorite book of his, but it’s still amazing. Highly recommended.