Wednesday 25 April 2012

Book ~ "Town House" (2007) Tish Cohen

From Amazon ~ The son of a legendary rock musician, Jack Madigan has been living off his father's royalties for years, but things are looking dire as the money runs out. His wife has already left, unable to deal with Jack's refusal to confront his agoraphobia; his teenage son, who avidly embraces 1970s clothing because "uncool is the new cool," may relocate to California with his mom; and Jack's once magnificent Boston townhouse, now crumbling around him, is being repossessed by the bank. Even his work as a color consultant--he has been tinkering for years with a formula for the perfect white--is failing to provide the funds he so desperately needs. His only hope is the charming but hopelessly inept realtor assigned to sell the house. With the help of the little girl next door, whose dream is to become an Olympic skater, Jack suddenly finds himself motivated to face his greatest fear--stepping outside of his house. Rising above its obvious, overly tidy plotting, this highly readable first novel offers plenty of sardonic humor and a cast of endearing eccentrics.

I picked this book up at the library because it was on a table of books by Canadian authors. I hadn't read anything by Cohen before.

I enjoyed it. I liked the writing style. Given the subject matter, at times the book was funny.

The story was interesting. Though I have no problem leaving the house and have never known anyone who has agoraphobia, Jack did and I could feel his panic and fear when he tried to. He wanted to overcome it so much but couldn't.

I liked the characters. All were quirky in their own way. Jack's father had been a singer (I pictured a young Alice Cooper) before he died in an unfortunate accident when Jack was a kid. Jack felt the loss of his dad all his life. Jack's teenage son, Harlan, was great ... a funny kid. He knows his dad has a problem and, though he encourages him to get better, takes such good care of him. I was concerned that Lucinda, the little girl next door, would be annoying but she wasn't. She had a wacky family who neglected her and was a good friend to Jack. Dorrie, the real estate agent, sounded like a ditz who realized she kind of realized she was but didn't realize how much.

I'd recommend this book if you are looking for something quirky about an unusual topic.

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