Away From Everywhere is the cause of my second A-Z CanLit Challenge cheat. So far, I have been going in order, but for this book I am making an exception and skipping ahead two letters. All because I want Chad Pelley to be on my official A-Z list. He deserves it.
A while ago I read Every Little Thing, and loved it. Well, now I have fallen for his first book, Away From Everywhere. Which, by the way, is being made into a movie starring Jason Priestley, Shawn Doyle, and Joanne Kelly. So, quick, go read it! And, they better not mess it up.
Opening line: It was the harsh contrast of her blood on everything around them that he remembered the most. The whole first chapter was a page-turner, letting us know right away that things aren’t going to be easy for the characters in this book.
… love is beautiful in the same way a lion is. Half the beauty is in the sheer power of the thing. The control it has over you. And the chance it might tear you apart.
Love, in this book, is not a simple thing. It is messy, confusing, and painful. But, how to avoid it? And, do you even want to avoid it, while knowing what it may bring? The protagonist, Owen, spends the entire novel either searching for love or trying to ignore it. When he finally can’t ignore it any longer, the consequences are devastating.
… there is no escaping ourselves, our pasts. So how does one really let go and carry on?
Brothers, Owen and Alex, have a happy, ordinary childhood until the consequences of their father’s mental illness send the rest of their lives into a spin. The events that follow cause them to grow up into completely different men, and eventually tear them apart.
All we can ever do is assume things about each other… we can never really know each other. Because I think we wake up as a different person every day, based on what happened in all the days before the one in which we are living… At any given moment who we are can change. Hell, to a degree, every new person you meet changes you, every conversation. So, I don’t think anybody knows anybody… I don’t think anybody knows themselves, either.
The story of the brothers is interspersed with the journal entries of Hannah, Alex’s wife and Owen’s lover. Her entries help to give us a greater understanding of Hannah’s character as well as an intimate look at each of the brothers. Hannah’s thoughts also illuminate the complexities of love.
There is a reason they call it falling in love. It always happens by accident, and it’s always too late once it happens. You’ve already fallen, you’re already stuck. Right or wrong.
Things I Liked (Quick list to help keep me from going on and on):
- Getting a glimpse of what it might be like to have schizophrenia, or be close to someone who has it.
- Watching a terrible event ruin the way you think of yourself, and change the course of your life forever. (yes, this is morbid, but I like it)
- Seeing the waste alcohol can make of someone’s life. (more morbidity)
- The confliction in Hannah’s journal entries; nothing is simple and clear, especially not love.
- The author does not sugar coat things to make the reader feel better.
- At one point in the book, they were listening to Brian Borcherdt’s music. He is my friend’s younger brother. That’s kinda cool.
- The line: I don’t have to understand to listen.
Things I Didn’t Like:
1. There was absolutely nothing I could do to help the people in this book. (And, sorry to tell you, but you will not be able to do this, either.)
Plea to author: Chad Pelley, if by chance you ever read this, please write me another book!