Monday, November 18, 2013

Book Review: Better You Go Home by Scott Driscoll


About the Book: Seattle attorney Chico Lenoch wonders why his Czech father refuses to contact family left behind the Iron Curtain. Searching through his father’s attic after the Velvet Revolution, Chico discovers letters dated four decades earlier revealing the existence of a half-sister. He travels to the Czech Republic to find his forgotten sister and unearth the secrets his father has buried all these years. There is self-interest behind Chico’s quest. Most urgently, he is nearing kidney failure and needs a donor organ. None of his relatives are a suitable match. Could his sister be a candidate? Chico also meets Milada, a beautiful doctor who helps him navigate the obstacles to finding his sister. While Chico idealizes his father’s homeland, Milada feels trapped. Is she really attracted to him, or is he a means of escape to the United States? Chico confronts a moral dilemma as well. If he approaches his sister about his need for a kidney, does he become complicit with his father and the Big Shots of that generation who’ve already robbed her of so much?

Overall Thoughts: You can all this an immigrant story, a medical thriller and a tale of love. Driscoll keeps all the scenes tight, the action coming and details to the need to know. You are taken back behind the fallen Iron Curtain and the ghosts that still live and breathe there, which are all based off Driscoll's own experiences from visiting this part of the world. The subplots don't distract but draw you deeper into the storyline itself. If you are a fan of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" you may want to pick this novel up as well.

Life often obscures more than it reveals. Writing well is about knowing how a story is built, and then pouring the raw material of life into it. One must find material he or she cares about and stiffen it with the scaffolding of voice, character and premise―until a story emerges.
 

Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Coffeetown Press (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603811702
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603811705

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Scott Driscoll is an instructor at the University of Washington Professional and Continuing Education programs where he has taught creative writing for 20 years. He has also taught fiction and creative nonfiction in the Writers in the Schools and Path With Art programs and online through the Seattle-based Writer's Workshop, as well as at Seattle’s Richard Hugo House literary center. Scott was awarded the “UW Educational Outreach Excellence in Teaching Award” for 2006.
    
Driscoll has been awarded eight Society of Professional Journalists awards, most recently for social issues reporting. His narrative essay about his daughter's coming of age was cited in the Best American Essays, 1998. While enrolled in the UW MFA program, he won the Milliman Award for Fiction. “Writing for me is about applying form to the mysteries we suffer.”

Learn more at www.scott-driscoll.com

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