I’ve read a lot of books over the years, some I’ve liked, a few I haven’t, but if I’m really honest about it, I’m rather indifferent about most of them. They’ve done their job. They’ve kept me entertained while sitting in a waiting room, on a rainy afternoon, in the evening when there’s nothing on TV, or when I just need a break from life. Some have made me laugh, a few have brought tears to my eyes, but even so, hardly any have stayed with me beyond opening the next one. But I read one recently that’s hanging in there, that introduced me to some people I’d like to get to know better. I didn’t expect that when I bought the book. I was just looking for a few hours of entertainment. I wasn’t even sure I’d like it, but what I got was a real treasure, at least to me.
The theme of the book isn’t all that different. It’s about starting over. There have been a lot of books written along that line. I know – I must have read a dozen of them over the past year. Most are humorous, which is the main reason I choose them, but they all have one thing in common. The main characters have no choice but to start over. Something has happened in their lives that forces them to begin again. Whether it’s a divorce, the loss of a job, or some other traumatic event, something beyond their control jerks their comfortable existence away from them and throws them into the chaos of building a new life. Even Stephanie Plum got her start that way.
But that’s not what happens in Scratch. The main character could have continued to live the life he’s built forever, but he chooses to start over, not because he has to, but because he realizes that he doesn’t like the life he’s living. He has guts. And that’s probably why, a week later, this book is still hanging in there, creeping into my thoughts in unguarded moments. I like that guy. I admire him, and I’d love to actually know him.
Would you have the same reaction to this book that I had? I have no idea. I can’t predict how anyone will react to any book, but I can say that I loved it and I hated to see it end. I had a really good time reading this one, and I’d like to say a big thank you to the author, Danny Gillan.