Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pump Up Your Book tour: You Never Know by Lilian Duval

From the back of the book:

Tobias Hillyer had a promising future until a car accident claimed the lives of his parents. Abandoning his dreams, he dropped out of college to take care of his orphaned, brain-damaged younger brother. Now in his late thirties, Tobias must struggle to provide for his family, working dead-end jobs that fall short of the academic career he had imagined. Then he wins the lottery.

About the author:

Lilian Duval was born in New York City to French-speaking parents and went to public school with a French accent so thick that she was assigned to the slowest of four first-grade classes. She got rid of her accent, but she says she also gained “a lifetime habit of imitating people’s pronunciation.” Eventually, things did get better for her, especially after winning first prize for an essay she wrote. She received the book A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson and read it over and over, even though she was disappointed not to have received a trophy.

Today, Lilian lives with her husband George in a small house in New Jersey overlooking a large county park. They have two sons and a daughter and several cats. She’s an amateur classical guitarist and enjoys attending concerts and plays in New York City.

But writing has always been her calling. In her own words, “The most enjoyable activity I can imagine is to invent some characters, make them a little larger than life, set them bickering and thrashing against each other and their fates and enact a fictional resolution that makes more sense than the chaos and unpredictability of our complicated lives.”

You Never Know will soon be followed by the book Random Acts of Kindness, which Lilian is currently working on.

Just my opinion:

This book has been garnering great reviews, so I was anxious to see if others were right … and they are! I loved this story and I’m so glad I chose to take part in this blog tour.

The story revolves around a young man who is planning a future that involves studying the world. He is an anthropology major and is preparing for a class trip that will take him to parts unknown. His professor is so proud of his accomplishments so far and is anxious for Tobias to help on this study.

Just before they are about to depart, Tobias decides to spend Christmas break with his family. They decide to spend an evening out and their car is hit by a van that slides on ice through an intersection. His parents are killed and his brother receives a brain injury that leaves him permanently damaged. Tobias was driving and is spared. However, because he is the only one left to pick up the pieces, he is now looking at a future of caring for his brother. The only way he can do that is to drop out of college and take menial jobs that barely pay the bills.

Fortunately, Tobias has a very deep love for his brother and takes right to the task. This book is the story of his struggle to care for his brother, maintain the family home and make a life for himself. It’s very well-written and the author did a great job of researching the path to recovery for someone who endures such a huge impairment as the one Tobias’ brother suffered with.

The synopsis may sound like a heart-breaking story, but really, it’s not. It’s full of hope and love and the meaning of family. It demonstrates the compassion one person can have for another and how even in the worst of times, we can see that light at the end of the tunnel as we work toward the future.

Tobias held thing together, even though times were often extremely difficult. Then, things change when he wins the state lottery and millions of dollars are now his. Suddenly, he is faced with an entirely different set of problems and issues he must deal with.

A great read and another book that would be a good choice for book groups. Lots of issues to discuss and unique characters.

Be sure to check out You Never Know and be ready for one of the best new reads of the summer!

Some favorite passages from the book:

Coincidence: a sequence of scattered events occurring together at random, yet seemingly predestined.

Family stories are seldom comforting. And never simple.

The tides ebb and flow, go in and out, whether you believe or not.

About the blog tour:

For more information about this tour, visit the Pump Up YourBook website. There you will find out what other blogs are taking part and more about You Never Know and LilianDuval.

1 comment:

Admin said...

Thank you so much for your wonderful review! You captured the essence of the book magnificently...thanks so much!