Summary: I’m putting the drill back in the safe when my fingers touch something unexpected—paper. An envelope. I take it out. Where an address should be, my name is written in Gus’s unmistakable, back-slanting hand. Meet Logan Pyle, a lapsed grad student and stay-at-home dad who’s holding it together by a thread. His father, Gus, has died; his wife, Julie, has grown distant; his four-year-old son has gone back to drinking from a bottle. When he finds Julie kissing another man on a pile of coats at a party, the thread snaps. Logan packs a bag, buckles his son into his car seat, and heads north with a 1930s Louisville Slugger in the back of his truck, a maxed-out credit card in his wallet, and revenge in his heart. After some bad decisions and worse luck, he lands at his father’s old A-frame cabin, where his father’s young widow, Bennie, now lives. She has every reason to turn Logan away, but when she doesn’t, she opens the door to unexpected redemption—for both of them. A deftly plotted exploration of marriage, family, and the road from child to parent, Brand New Human Being is a page-turning debut that overflows with heart and grace. ~amazon.com
Review: When I was contacted from TLC about joining the tour for Brand New Human Being the summary pulled me in immediately and I jumped on being on the tour. After reading it in essentially 24 hours, I can say that this debut novel packs a powerful punch. I loved that it was from Logan's view point. I immediately felt for Logan, he's in a kind of limbo at this point in his life. His son Owen is acting like a baby again with his wife Julie feeding into it and saying it's normal. You can guess how Logan feels about all of this. His wife is also working on a life altering case and is becoming distant. He also hasn't really dealt with the slow death of his father, Gus, from cancer. While Gus was a hands on dad, he was also some what of an enigma to Logan. Gus was a big personality in a small town. He was a man either you loved or you hated. There was apparently no middle.
Ms. Miller spends most of the book building up to Logan's jettison from his life. The resolution took very little of the books pages. I actually thought that it would be the reverse. Even though the I didn't feel like the ending was rushed, I did want a bit more time for Logan to figure things out. I never doubted Logan's love for Julie but I definitely doubted where she stood with their marriage. I understand that she was the breadwinner and the pressure was on her but it seemed like she checked out of her marriage.
I also liked that Logan didn't want to give in to the idea of Owen regressing. I liked that he was trying to teach his son that he was 4 going on 5 and that meant he was going to be a big boy. Owen was definitely a mama's boy and Julie definitely fed into that. I loved how Logan tried to talk about death with his son and found it difficult. Death isn't an easy thing for an adult to understand at times and it's even harder to explain to a child.
Ms. Miller has a wonderful novel here that packs a punch even though it's less than 300 pages. Her characters are rich and enthralling. It was very easy to get caught up in Logan's life for a little while.I look forward to reading whatever Ms. Miller decides to write next.
If you are looking to get away from your own problems for a while (let's be honest who doesn't have at least one they are running from) and getting into some one else's, then you should pick up Brand New Human Being.
For more about Ms. Miller please check out her website. You can follow her on twitter as well @EmilyJMiller.
Final Take: 4.5/5
Thanks to TLC Book Tours for a copy of the novel.
Emily Jeanne Miller’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS: Monday, June 11th: Between the Covers Wednesday, June 13th: A Library of My Own Thursday, June 14th: It’s a Crazy, Beautiful Life Monday, June 18th: Sara’s Organized Chaos Wednesday, June 20th: The Blog of Litwits Thursday, June 21st: Southern Girl Reads Monday, June 25th: Knowing the Difference Wednesday, June 27th: I Write in Books Friday, June 29th: Colloquium (guest post) Saturday, June 30th: Colloquium (review) Monday, July 2nd: Life in Review Tuesday, July 3rd: Simply Stacie Thursday, July 5th: Unabridged Chick Monday, July 9th: Peeking Between the Pages Wednesday, July 11th: Bookfan Thursday, July 12th: Girls Just Reading Friday, July 13th: Book Club Classics! Monday, July 16th: A Novel Source Wednesday, July 18th: A Patchwork of Books