Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Review: All I Have in this World by Michael Parker

Two strangers meet on a windswept car lot in West Texas. Marcus is fleeing the disastrous fallout of chasing a lifelong dream; Maria is returning to the hometown she fled years ago, to make amends. They begin to argue over the car that they both desperately want a low-slung sky-blue twenty-year-old Buick Electra.

The car, too, has seen its share of mistakes and failures. Every dent and seam has witnessed pivotal moments in the lives of others, from the boy who assembled it at the Cleveland factory to all the owners who were to follow: a God-fearing man who sells it when he sees a sexy girl sprawled across it; a doctor who can t dissociate it from his son s fate; a girl with a hole in her heart; and a rancher's wife who d much rather live without it for all the history it carries.

Marcus and Maria, after knowing each other for less than an hour, decide to buy the old car together. And as this surprising novel follows the rocky paths of the Electra and its owners both past and present these two lost souls find solace in an unexpected alliance.

ebook, 320 pages
Expected publication: March 25th 2014 by Algonquin Books 
Kristine's Thoughts:
* I received an advanced readers copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!*
What can I say about this book? It was definitely an interesting concept with the car at the center of the story and tidbits from past owners up to the present when Maria and Marcus took ownership. Unfortunatley I had a hard time swallowing or really understanding how the two ended up co-owning the Buick. 
Both Maria and Marcus have a troubled past and something they are hiding from each other. Each of their stories were relatively interesting but I found that there were so many rabbit trails throughout the pages that very little of it really surfaced in a satisfying way. I wanted to know about the two characters and how they were going to make amends with their past but every time it came around to them I found myself on another long winded rabbit trail that I didn't really care for. After skimming paragraphs to get back on the right track there would be a few sentences of the present and then off on another trail we went. I'm not talking so much about the actual events of their past that were significant to their present story but the rest of the stuff that sufficated it.
There was a good plot to the story but it was just too buried in a lot of other rambling for me to fully enjoy. The actual time that Maria and Marcus spent together was not fully developed and therefore I could not feel or understand the bond and the relevance of it. For a lack of a better description it felt a little robotic and stiff. For me, the book was just ok. 


About the Author

Brought up in London. Attended Sir Walter St. John's Grammar School for boys in Battersea until the family moved to Portsmouth in 1954. Continued education at Southern Grammar. Left school with no qualifications and started work as a Junior deigner at Twilfits (Corset/Brassiere manufacturer). Left after one year and joined the Merhcant Navy as a Steward. Two years later married Pat, my teenage sweetheart and went to work on a building site. Three months later I joined the RAF as an electrician. Left 16 years later on a redundancy package and worked in a food factory for a couple of years. Left and worked in the Middle East for a year. Then back to another food manufacturer (Mars) for 17 years until early retirement in 1996. Moved out to Spain with Pat in 1997. We have four sons and ten grandchildren.

I have written all my adult life with moderate success. My first novel, NORTH SLOPE was published by Macmillan in 1980. My second, SHADOW OF THE WOLF in 1984 by Robert Hale. My third, HELL'S GATE was published in 2007 by Robert Hale followed by THE EAGLE'S COVENANT (2007) and THE DEVIL'S TRINITY in 2008. This was followed by THE THIRD SECRET,in 2009 and then A COVERT WAR in 2010. My latest novel, THE BOY FROM BERLIN was released in December 2011, and has now been picked up by Harlequin who have purchased (leased) the paperback rights for North America and Canada.

I have also teamed up with Acclaimed Books Ltd., and have published NORTH SLOPE in paperback and in Kindle. Also A COVERT war is now available in both formats. Later this year I will publish The Third Secret, but will give it the title: ROSELLI'S GOLD.


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