Garth Stein, Author . Soho $25 (368p) ISBN 978-1-56947-390-0

Stein (Raven Stole the Moon ) builds an engrossing family drama around a Seattle rock musician. Evan's the odd man out in the Wallace family: his dad's a renowned heart surgeon, his mom's the dutiful doctor's wife and his brother's a successful lawyer. His entire life, they've treated Evan like damaged goods, and in some ways he is. Hit by a car as a child, Evan now has frequent and sometimes severe epileptic seizures. And although he once had a top-10 hit, these days Evan gets by working as a guitar shop salesman. Stein ups the emotional ante of the Wallace world by dropping a 14-year-old son, Dean, in Evan's lap when the boy's mother, Evan's high school flame, is killed in an auto accident. Long denied a chance to be involved in Dean's raising, Evan is excited to be a dad, but it isn't easy—there's that exchange when Dean smacks Evan and Evan calls him a "rude little shit," for example. It's as if Stein has taken his hero, set a series of nasty psychological and medical roadblocks in his path, and then stepped back to see if Evan can find his way toward health and happiness. Following the emotionally stunted Evan along his arduous journey isn't always a pleasant experience, but the path is littered with life lessons that Stein weaves into the narrative with honesty and compassion. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/28/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
Compact Disc - 978-1-4558-0036-0
Open Ebook - 257 pages - 978-1-56947-710-6
Paperback - 359 pages - 978-1-56947-423-5
Paperback - 359 pages - 978-1-56947-498-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-4805-8221-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4805-8220-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-4558-0039-1
MP3 CD - 978-1-4558-0038-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4558-0037-7
Paperback - 375 pages - 978-1-61695-431-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-4915-7569-7
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