WHEN YOU WENT AWAY by Michael Baron
Published by The Story Plant
This Kindle Edition is owned by me and was a personal choice of reading, that I downloaded via Amazon, during a special that was being offered.
Synopsis (from Amazon): Baron's carefully crafted debut tale, the Story Plant's first mass market original, is too true-to-life to be interesting. Gerry Rubato's wife has died and his teenage daughter has run away from home, leaving him alone to raise an infant son. Despite the recent tragedies, the focus of the novel is on rather ordinary non-events, such as Gerry's work at a catalogue company, opinions about the Yankees and tedious descriptions of food. As Gerry struggles to confront his runaway child, he chronicles his emotional reactions in a series of journal entries. A romantic subplot involving a colleague provides predictable conflict. Buried in the minutiae is an earnest tale of a man's emotional awakening and grief, but a too-easy resolution makes this more of a tour through Gerry's processing than a story.
My Thoughts and Opinion: Once again Michael Baron pulls on the heart strings from the opening sentence to the very last page. A poignant, tender, emotional, romantic, softhearted and moving love story through the eyes of a male written by a male. A story of love on different levels and in different states of the main character's life. Gerry has everything, a wife, which is the love of his life, a teenage daughter, a brand new baby boy and then his world collapses. His daughter runs away, his wife dies suddenly, he becomes an instant single parent, and even though there is so much grief, he has to go on.
I have read many books by this author and every time I do, I have to remind myself that it is written by a male author. The soft, compassionate, moving and touching words that the author conveys in his writing, tugs on the heart strings and allows the reader to see and feel from that of a male perspective. Ladies, I wish, all of this could be bottled and made into a vaccine for the male species, if you know what I mean. Another plus with this book was that the main character is a huge Yankees fan. When his son was just an infant, they would spend their evenings together on the couch, watching a game, while he explained the art of baseball, knowing that his son probably had no clue what he was talking about. This brought back memories. I would do the same thing, not about baseball but while I was cooking. And another plus, my oldest son is a HUGE Yankees fan, naming is dog after the team and even has a tattoo. So in my book....that gets extra points. Overall....a phenomenal poignant read!!! A grand slam!!!