Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book Review:: Henry's List of Wrongs


You know that old saying, "don't judge a book by it's cover?"  Well, I'm guilty in this case.  A couple of years ago, I bought this book solely because it's cover was gray and yellow, and I thought it would look pretty on my shelf.  I never bothered to crack it open to see what it was about...I just liked the title and the simplicity of the hardback.  Fast forward to a few days ago, when I finished up The Road and none of my holds at the library had arrived yet.  So, much to my dismay, I was without a book.  The vast majority of the books I own are non-fiction.  I'm on a total fiction-kick lately, and I'm not in the mood to re-read anything at the moment.  So my choices were fairly limited.  I perused the shelves until I rediscovered this one, and I was pleasantly surprised that the story between the covers was worth the read!

This is a story about forgiveness and redemption.  The title character, Henry, allows one heartbreaking incident steer his entire life in a very focused direction.  He decides to get his revenge on the breaker-of-his-heart by overcoming giant hurdles to become an undeniable success...and then rub it in her face.  On the way to the top, a summit he does indeed reach, he remorselessly crushes anyone in his path, including friends and family.  While on the task of what he believes is the final roadblock to bring his vengeance full-circle, he discovers that the girl who broke his heart a decade before truly loved him and was only trying to protect him.  This devastating realization that the sole purpose of the past ten years has been a lie, and the reality of the damage he's done to the lives of others reels him.  Mid-stride on his way to jumping off of his hotel balcony, the housekeeper--a psych student--stops him and convinces him to rethink suicide.  Instead, she helps him devise a list of the top five wrongs he's committed, and together, they travel the country asking for forgiveness.  On this bizarre journey, it becomes clear that Henry isn't the only one with skeletons in his closet.  As each wrong is righted, Henry takes another step back towards who he used to be, but at the same time, is walking away from the very lucrative life he's spent so much effort attaining.

This was a really quick read; I finished it in three sittings.  It was littered with curse words that, for the most part, were completely unnecessary, but were at least true to the character development.  It was a feel-good story about it never being too late to make things right, even the most horrible things.  It's not about undoing those things...we all know that the past is the past...it's about owning up to our mistakes, being accountable, and asking forgiveness.  And then, changing.

To be honest, it was really just so nice to read a book with a optimistic tone and happy ending.  So long as gratuitous cursing and references to sexual immorality (promiscuity) do not offend your sensibilities, it's worth the read! 

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