The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
Bartholomew Neil is 38-years-old and completely lost after the death of his mother. He has no friends, no job (and never has) and doesn’t even know how his bills are paid. He has been taunted with being slow all his life, but is he really? Or is he just emotionally stunted from living his whole life with only his mother and the family priest for company? Faced with the rest of his life Bartholomew starts writing letters to Richard Gere, his mother’s favorite actor and the man she most wanted to see, and frequently saw in Bartholomew, when she was dying of brain cancer. Through his one-sided correspondence he learns more about himself and navigating the world around him then he thought possible.
This is a weird book. What else would you expect from a book told in letters to Richard Gere? The characters are quirky and damaged in a myriad of ways but their brokenness is what makes them so appealing and sympathetic. I’m not sure how I feel about Bartholomew. I know deep inside he is afraid he is mentally incompetent, but his letter writing and inner thoughts speak of a far greater intelligence. I think he’s just feeling lost without the guiding force of his mother, but he desperately wants to connect with other people and live life out in the world. I ended up feeling badly for him the further I read, but for the life he has missed, not the grief he is experiencing. Maybe that’s what others will feel, maybe not. Any way you read it, it is a different look at the grieving and healing process experienced by different characters.
One great take away from the book: Bartholomew’s mom’s theory of the Good Luck of Right Now.