Book Reviews

Review of ‘Rocky Road’ by Susan Lohrer

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My Rating (****)

The book under review is designated as a romantic comedy and there are some scenes which certainly bring smile on your face. The book is about Ancy Robertson and her misadventures. There is also an autistic brother who wants to become a rock star and adds charm to the story. The book has an interesting story line that keeps readers interested.

A certain form of modesty marks the author’s treatment of the characters. The author has heavily resisted getting engaged with their insides and allowed these characters to express and speak for themselves by their doings and innate impulse to break out of the dreamy automation of habit. Ancy is uniformly viewed with a quick eye to the comic that is a ridiculing yet affectionate glance which lights up the reader’s hearts. What is more important, the author has avoided shaping this story merely to present sentimental caricatures of love or joy or of frustration. The autistic brother, one of the major characters in the book, faces many challenges as a person who has autism. One senses that the autistic brother echoes the author’s own sentiments, that there is something there of a deep undercurrent from which Lohrer’s art derives its vitality. It shows that the crazy mix of emotions inside anyone who cares is exactly the same.

This book seems to suggest that in life what matters most is to play a role and ‘become’ it. This is like fulfillment of one’s drama. Though there is comedy between the role assigned to you and the role you are playing, it is the essence of human comedy that does not deny you the possibility of ‘becoming’ the role and thereby transcending it. The comedy arises out of the violation of the Dharma, but that is only an illusion and everything returns to the equilibrium, just as the self of characters has an illusory active manifestation and a deep static core.

The author has some gift of storytelling and I look forward to read more of her works.

(I received the book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion on the book)

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