The Decent Proposal

Kemper Donovan. Harper, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-239162-9
In Donovan's hesitant first novel, an anonymous donor offers two young strangers $500,000 dollars each if they agree to meet once a week for two hours over the course of a year. Richard is a wannabe movie producer and Elizabeth is an associate on the partner track of a tony L.A. law firm. The author emphasizes their contrasts: Richard is a cool, lean film fanatic who binge drinks and Elizabeth is a smart, no-nonsense, full-figured teetotaler who would rather read a book than socialize. Donovan provides backstory of Richard's "best bud" Michaela, who secretly pines for him; Orpheus Washington, a homeless man whom Elizabeth has taken under her wing; and the eccentric anonymous benefactor. The contrived secret connection between Richard and Elizabeth, on top of a somewhat preachy side plot, results in a narrative that never fully gets off the ground. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2016
Release date: 04/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-239160-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-244611-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-5046-9689-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-5047-3084-6
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-06-239159-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-5046-9688-3
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