by Jonathan Tropper

February 2005
ISBN: 0-385-33810-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Delta Trade
Trade Paperback

Some books are so moving, so spellbinding that one cannot help but wonder where this spectacular masterpiece has been hiding for so long. That novel is The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper.

In The Book of Joe, readers will return to the small town of Bush Falls, Connecticut with Joe Goffman, a man of some thirty odd years who left his hometown right after high school and has never returned until now. His revisit to his hometown is only because his father is lying on his deathbed. Joe knows that he left few friends in Bush Falls when he wrote a best-selling book about the city which only revealed the town’s true dark secrets, but he never expected to meet with such hostility as what he finds in Bush Falls. His brother despises him, one of his former classmates wouldn’t mind seeing him dead, and those are just the two people who are not throwing things either in his face or at him. But somehow in that less than glorious homecoming, Joe will realize that the one place he’s been avoiding for so long is the one place he’s needed to visit in order to become whole.

The Book of Joe is one of the most insightful modern novels ever written. It is a poignant yet powerful depiction of friendship and love that will leave readers torn between tears of peace and sorrow.

Joe Goffman is a haunting character whose attempt to escape his past is a feeble one as he falls prey to the fact that money cannot buy happiness. When he finally goes back to his days of youth, in presence and in mind, it is a captivating and remarkable journey of self-discovery.

Even in its saddest moments, The Book of Joe remains uplifting in an honest and unpretentious tone. It is the trip home that every person needs to take. Reader, don’t deny yourself this much needed getaway.

Reviewed in June 2005 by Natasha.

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