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The Book of Why explores grief through eyes of a self-help author

Nicholas Montemarano displays a keen insight into the process of grieving in the Book of Why, a story about a self-help author coping with the death of his wife.

The Book of Why

Nicholas Montemarano

Headline Review

If taken at surface value, The Book of Why could be easily written off as an aimless work of subconscious wandering. However, at his best, Nicholas Montemarano displays a keen insight into the process of grieving without the melodrama that comes with this particular depiction of sorrow.

The question of 'Why?" stems from Eric Newborn, a self-help author in need of his own advice after the death of his wife. While a chance encounter with a fellow lost soul lifts his spirits slightly, it's a longer journey that awaits him, one which has him searching his memories for the answers while gathering material for his latest bestseller, The Book of Why.

Though Montemarano tries to dispel as many self-healing clichés as possible through Eric's jaded eyes, his novel's biggest flaw has to do with leaving himself little room to completely define his own idea of how to move on from loss. That said, The Book of Why is a novel to be enjoyed for its short, articulate chapters, if at the cost of its overarching storyline.

Published: January 19, 2013 04:00 AM