A Hole in the Universe – Mary McGarry Morris

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2.5/5 Stars

Summary: “Gordon Loomis returns to a changed world after twenty-five years in prison. His old neighborhood is blighted by drug dealers; his brother is eager to help but is too caught up in his own life; his loyal friend Delores makes him realize that he’s just as afraid of relationships as he is of going back to jail; and his inherent decency draws the attention of a hungry child whose survival threatens the fragile balance that is Gordon’s freedom.”

From that summary, I thought I’d really enjoy this book.  It has a lot of interesting elements to it: a guy who just got out a jail, a kid who is dealing with her drug addicted mother, and a woman who does more for others than for herself, but the story never really takes off.

I kept reading the book hoping it was going to get better.  Thinking, something had to happen soon, something that was going to change the direction things were going in.  And when it did (sort of), the big thing didn’t really mean anything.  No one knew it had happened for a while and then when they did, the consequences were all blown through so quickly since it was basically the end of the book.

If you’ve read The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling, A Hole in the Universe kind of had that same feel to it where we’re just following the lives of a handful of characters where little things are going on that will seemingly add up to something.  By the end of The Casual Vacancy, I was satisfied by how it all came together.  With this book, though, I didn’t like the ending at all.

There were very few answers to questions that I had from the beginning of the story and the last chapter really just bothers me.  I’ve read some other reviews and people who have enjoyed the book talk about how realistic the characters and situations are, and to me that is where the problem is.  Real life doesn’t always make a great story.  Someone reading book wants a build up to something big happening and a satisfying, at least in some way, end.

Just not for me, I guess.  If you’ve read it and liked it, let me know why in the comments!

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