Sunday, June 3, 2012

Book 10: The Fortunate Son by Walter Mosley

This book was a freebie that my mom picked up at work.  She insisted that I would enjoy it because it’s one of those depressing but good books.  I’ve never read anything by Walter Mosley before but I have seen a lot of his books around.  I’m still not sure why I hadn’t tried reading his work before, but this has made me eager to pick up more of his books. 

The book starts in 1986 when Thomas Beerman is born with a hole in his lung.  His mother stays in the hospital as much as she can, with no help from the father of her child.  Soon she meets Dr. Minas Nolan, a surgeon at the hospital whose wife recently died after giving birth to their son, Eric.  The two form an unlikely relationship that lasts until her death when the boys are 6.  Minas and Brwyn never married despite his many proposals, so after her funeral, Thomas is taken away from the Nolan’s by his erstwhile father, Elton.  Elton doesn’t want Thomas to grow up with white people in Beverly Hills and for the short time that he has his son Elton tries to make Thomas in his image.  Meanwhile, Eric misses his mother and brother but has a very charmed life.  Everything he tries, he succeeds at.  While Thomas has probably the worst luck that anyone could have.

The book alternates between Eric and Thomas’s lives throughout the years.  It is very hard to read through Thomas’s sections—they are just so traumatic and wrong on every level.  Eric has a great life but is concerned about the effect that he has on those around him.  He is afraid that he unintentionally kills those that love him. 

This is an excellent and engrossing story, I had a hard time putting it down.  But if you don’t want to read anything depressing you should stay far away from this novel.  

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