Saturday, August 27, 2016

Book Review: The One-in-a-Million Boy

After I finished this book, I was determined to figure out where I had heard about it. I finally found a recent New on the Stack post at Sheila's blog, The Deliberate Reader. It seems she was hearing about it everywhere so she placed it on her stack. I'm so glad she did and that I followed suit. It was a moving and emotionally stirring read, one I will not soon forget. As I read, I found myself sighing and repeatedly saying, "Ohhh," in an "aww" kind of way.

The One-in-a-Million Boy tells the story of the boy's mostly absent father, Quinn Porter, a musician hot on the trail of gig after gig. It begins, upon the boy's unexpected death, when Quinn decides to atone for his lack of involvement by completing his son's Boy Scout commitment to work for an old immigrant woman named Ona Vitkus. At one hundred and four years old, Ona took quite a liking to the young boy and was eagerly helping him try to earn a place for her in the Guinness Book of World Records. By visiting with Ona, Quinn begins to feel more connected than he ever had to his odd, obsessive son.

My heart ached for Quinn, his ex-wife, and Ona. Despite being full of sadness, their stories were bursting with the potential for connection and healing. I sat on the edge of my seat wondering whether Ona would live long enough to make her goals and wondering whether Quinn would come to terms with his son's death. The emotions evoked were powerful and true. If you are looking for a light-hearted read, don't bother looking for this book. But, if you are willing to brave the sadness, your heart will be inspired by the resilience and importance of human connection and love.

No comments: