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Someday Everything Will All Make Sense
Someday Everything Will All Make Sense is a humorous and moving exploration of loss and bereavement, narrated by Luther van der Loon, a harpsichord virtuoso and professor of medieval music at a New York university. When Luther’s mother chokes on a wonton from Seven Happiness Chinese take-out, his attempts to dislodge the foreign body airway obstruction (FBAO) prove futile, and his mother dies en route to the hospital. At 45 years of age, Luther is finally, irreparably, alone. His passage through the stages of grief is not straightforward. He obsesses over burial practices, rails against M & Sons Chapel and the funerary industry, and institutes a personal injury suit against Seven Happiness and its owner Bernice Wong, whose “sloppy methods” he blames for his mother’s death. Eventually, Luther learns to come to terms with his loss. Luther detests modern music and the equal temperament, the tuning convention whereby the octave was artificially divided into twelve equidistant steps. He believes, like Kepler and the greatest thinkers of the Renaissance, that music is constructed according to the divine Pythagorean ratios. The novel speaks to the absurdity of the legal system as a means of redressing our grievances, as well as to the universality of the loss suffered by the protagonist.
Plot/Idea: 6 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 7.25 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: This literary, lyrical novel is enriched by its philosophical underpinnings. Readers looking for an exploration of grief and familial readers will enjoy this book, but those looking for a riveting adventure might turn elsewhere.

Prose/Style: The prose in this work is lovely, if at times leaning toward pretentious; readers will find it moves quickly and paints a vivid picture of each scene. They'll also enjoy the main character's voice, which is simultaneously witty and sardonic.

Originality: This is a book that deals with grief through humor and a touch of absurdity; general fiction readers will enjoy the compassion and care in each page, which, while reminiscent of the books touching on similar subjects, feels original.

Character Development: Luther is a well-defined, worldly, and unconventional character with a strong voice; readers will not soon forget him.

Date Submitted: August 21, 2019

Reviews
Amy Wallen

"It’s rare to find a character like Luther van der Loon who makes such a rich and lasting impression—so vividly wounded, exuberant in characterization. Luther embodies the anxious, angst-ridden neurotic we are afraid we will become, or maybe who we aspire to be. In his grief over his mother’s accidental choking vis-à-vis death, his obsession with what is the point of life is simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious. I could read this novel a hundred times and never tire of it."

~Amy E. Wallen, Author of When We Were Ghouls: A Memoir of Ghost Stories

Sheila Kohler

"An original and very funny novel about a man's obsessive longing and guilt after his mother accidentally chokes on wonton soup.  We follow the endearing protagonist through a period of mourning, cleverly  interwoven with musical theory and an attempt to sue the Chinese take out restaurant,  all brought to a hilarious finale with a last symposium on medieval music."  

--Sheila Kohler, author of award-wnning novels including CracksDreaming for Freud, and Becoming Jane Eyre.

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