Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Keeper and Kid: A Novel by Edward Hardy

With a cover like that, how could you go wrong, right? Wrong. This book started out great, but quickly lost steam for me. It completely had the potential for a very sweet story, but after getting through 2/3rd of this book and the father still always frustrated with raising his 3 year old son that he never knew he had, the story started to get old. I had hoped to see more touching moments and growth between the two's relationship.

There was a lot of back story on Keeper (the father) and the boys mother that was completely unnecessary and took up a lot of time. I kept thinking the author was sharing history with me as part of a direction the story would take, but then it would just go right back to how difficult this father's life had become dealing with the unexpected surprise of his 3 year old son.

When it was over, I was left with the thought - "is that it!?" I wanted a little more closure than the deflated feeling I had at the end. The plot left much to be desired in my opinion and I'm surprised that so many others on Goodreads found the story so touching. What was touching about it? - hearing the father complain every time he had to change his sons pants when he peed them or when the son hid something from him or threw a tantrum?? I understand the circumstances surrounding how these two came to pass was very difficult, but again, it was a total roller coaster that never did show the father and son really bonding or growing together. And I quite honestly thought the father was a bit too self involved and selfish to play any role as this child's father whatsoever. Bummer.

Thankfully, every now and then something would happen that would keep my attention to continue on, but I wasn't very attached to the characters and didn't find myself emotionally involved. Not a bad idea for a story, but I think Nicholas Sparks could have taken these characters and brought hope and love into their lives.

Description: Eight years ago, James Keeper fell in love with his upstairs neighbor in Boston, a sassy pastry chef with gray eyes and a fierce attitude. They got married, found a dog, and shopped for cilantro. But conflicting schedules and a real estate deal gone bad took its toll on the twenty-somethings in love. One divorce later, the hand-me-down chairs were separated, the potato masher custody settled, and Keeper moved to Providence to work with his best friend selling antiques at a quirky shop called Love and Death. A new job, a new love, and a new life now in place, Keeper is in a comfortable situation. Business is steady, Leah (the new love) is intriguing and passionate, and Keeper's friends always turn up for Sunday evening Card Night. But one phone call from his former mother-in-law changes everything. And so days later, Keeper comes away with a son he never knew he had, and life all of a sudden takes on a new meaning. Leo, the precocious three-year-old who sports Keeper's square chin, is more than a handful - he eats only round foods, refuses to bathe, thinks he's a bear, and refers to Leah as "that man." For a guy who never thought he'd be a parent, Keeper is thrown headfirst into fatherhood - and has no idea what to do. As Keeper and Leo adjust to the shock of each other and their suddenly very different lives, Keeper begins to let the people in his life in, in turns strange and heartwarming, funny and painful. But some, like Leah, aren't so eager for change. In this humorous and poignant novel, Edward Hardy explores the depths of modern love, parenthood, and compromise. "Keeper and Kid" is the story of how a normal guy receives an unexpected gift and in turn must learn to ask more of others and himself. A coming-of-age story for the guy who thought he had already grown up, "Keeper and Kid" is a sharp and witty account of what we do for love.

Rating: ***

Recommend: sure, but I suggest keeping low expectations.

1 comment:

Jeane said...

I found the ending disappointing, too. I kept thinking when will this dad grow up?