The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
Hear that funny noise? Been hearing something similar of late – sort of like a distant, dull crack? Well that sound, my fellow readers, has been my heart breaking bit by bit.
Welcome to the review of The Good Luck of Right Now!
This book made me sad. Bad sad in the beginning. Good sad in the end. I didn’t think I would finish it and as I welled up on the last page, I was glad I had the guts to get through it. When I hit the last line I almost whooped aloud – in part for the characters and in part for me actually for making it in one piece.
You’ll need to read it to see if I am too delicate a soul and should just stick to reviewing glossy magazines.
Penned by the author of The Silver Linings Playbook, it has the same prickly edges; similar quirky, damaged characters who struggle yet stumble bravely onwards; and there are the powerful exchanges and emotions throughout that leave you with small knots in your tummy. If you loved The Silver Linings Playbook, I am pretty sure you will love this too. Your heart bleeds for the folk in this tale – they are bruised but boy, I think they are beautiful.
Let me say straight up that this is not a hard read. It’s light, sometimes funny, but so very fragile. It centres on Bartholomew Neil whose story is told through letters to Hollywood star (and Buddhist) Richard Gere and each letter marks a new chapter. At 38 years old, Bartholomew has spent his life living with his mother, and caring for her in her later years before she dies of cancer. We find him shortly after – lost and grieving. And so he turns to Richard Gere – his mother’s favourite actor – in the hope of finding some answers and meaning to his new, seemingly desolate life.
How does a man whose life has been grounded learn how to fly? You will need to read it to find out. But fly he does. Thank Allah, God and Buddha!
The book’s title is a simple life-affirming theory of Bartholomew’s mum. Simply it is, when something bad happens to us, something good happens – often to someone else. And that is the Good Luck of Right Now. ‘We must believe it. We must. We must. We must’, she would say to her son when life dealt them lemons, not lemonade.
And believe it I do….I hope after reading this gem – heartbreaking but inspiring as it is (for me anyway), you will too.
And Richard Gere, if you are reading this, what a stellar role you played in this. Bravo.
And that is my two cents worth.