*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

"Okay for Now" by Gary D. Schmidt

This is one of those books I read because it was available at the library for checkout on my kindle.  I haven't read Gary D. Schmidt's The Wednesday Wars nor did I realize that this book is set in the same universe until after I had completed Okay for Now.  Thankfully this novel did not come across as a sequel and I didn't feel lost entering this pre-established universe. 

Set in the 1960's, Doug is adjusting to a new town, living with his not so great older brother (their oldest is off fighting in Vietnam) and just trying to find his place in the world  He finds solace in two ways- first in Lil, the daughter of the deli owner that gives Doug a weekend job.  Their friendship starts out rocky and sort of unexpected, but they become very close by the end of he novel.  The second is John James Audubon's bird drawings on display at the library.  Doug begins to learn how to capture these drawings and develop his own artistic talent.  But as he learns that several of the drawings have been sold, he makes it his mission to find the missing drawings and return them to the library.

It took me quite awhile to finish this novel.  I wasn't bored, but I sometimes had difficulty immersing myself.  I was very interested  in this book, but there was just something that kept me from losing myself in the story.  There is certainly an audience for this sort of novel.  Those interested in the era or in a solid coming of age story are likely to enjoy this novel.  It's not often that I encounter a character that I wonder what happened to them after the novel ended, but Doug is one of those characters.  He's sort of like some of my high school classmates.  We were never close, but I still think about them and wonder where life has taken them.  I may not rush to read another of Schmidt's novels, but this books is going to stick in my mind for quite some time.

Happy Reading!

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