Sometimes life just happens, you know? If you are in doubt, you should pick up Ben Dolnick's new novel, At the Bottom of Everything.
Adam has not spoken with his childhood best friend, Thomas, in years. A terrible teenage secret changed their friendship dramatically, and things were never the same. A decade later Thomas's parents reach out to Adam, whose life has taken a less than stellar turn, to help find Thomas who has taken off to India and is nowhere to be found. It is there, at the bottom of everything, where you often find yourself.
This was such an interesting novel; I was unsure of where the plot was taking me through most of it which I enjoyed immensely. It wasn't predictable, but I also had no desire to predict the direction of the story which was a mix of a foreign and a great feeling. The story was told on an even keel, even as the proverbial dookey was hitting the fan.
I was most intrigued by the flashbacks to the boys' childhoods. The incident that affected their lives was shocking and heartbreaking, and it was the story leading up to it and the aftermath that had the book holding my heart in its hands. To have your world uprooted in such a way, then to keep the secret for so long will eat at your soul. I couldn't blame the boys for their worlds collapsing around them as adults.
This novel is super readable and packs an emotional punch, making it a great weekend read when you want to curl up with a cup of tea and an intriguing story.
Kindle version on left, hard copy on right.