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24 February, 2018

#BookReview :: South of Main Street by Robert Gately



Henry Wolff regularly climbs out of his upstairs bedroom window. The neighbors think it strange that a grown man enjoys a Tarzan like swing from the roof, but then again, they all think Henry is a little strange. Recently widowed, Henry is an emotionally challenged father being sued by his daughter for financial control of the estate. Henry must prove he is normal - not an easy thing to do when you are not. Henry is different, not quite normal, not quite special. Rumors explaining his behavior run from PTSD in Vietnam to losing his son to SIDS. But Henry has a special gift. In a town divided by the have and have-nots, Henry alone can inspire and touch even the most jaded lost soul. But when tragedy strikes, can he unite his own family?


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It rarely that an author intrigues me with his review request pitch. Robert Gately approached me with a simple mail that had me accept his review request that was hilariously endearing. I did not pay much attention to the book blurb before accepting a review copy just because his pitch mail was so good, that I was kind of sure that I would enjoy no matter what story he tells.

South of Main Street is the story of Henry Wolff, a man who is often tagged as odd. He has some strange tendencies and most people think that he hasn’t been right in the head for a while now. Whether it is PTSD or whether it is the loss of his dear ones – no one can be sure, but that doesn’t stop the rumour mills. His daughter suing him for the control of the estate is just another peg on the pole. Will Henry be able to bring his family and his community together?

Henry is simply an adorable soul. Irrespective of his oddities, his jewel of a heart can win over most people. He can inspire people. He can touch the lives around him and change them forever. It was really a great experience to make the acquaintance of this character, however fictional. Robin, Sharon and other secondary characters in the book have been developed well. So well in fact that as a reader, I was outraged by Sharon’s cunning but selfish actions. 

The plot’s beauty lies in its simplicity and the way the author has decided to narrate the story. It feels like something that you know and are comfortable with. Though the author has narrated the story in a light-hearted manner, because it exposes human psyche not in a glorious manner, the book has darker shades to it. As a result, I wasn’t really happy with the neatly wrapped up ending. I was expecting a different ending – certainly a messier one because life is messy.

Pick this book up if you enjoy reading about the nitty-gritties of not so common people.


Review Copy received from the Author



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