Gods of Our Time

Michael Bowker. Sixty Degrees, $15 trade paper (266p) ISBN 978-1-7334321-0-8
Awkward pacing and a disjointed narrative mar investigative journalist Bowker’s debut novel. In 1925, Scribner’s magazine sends Jake to interview notable American artists living in Paris; he’s accompanied by his editor’s glamorous daughter, Margaret, with whom he is having an affair. Once there, Jake frets that his journalistic abilities aren’t up to snuff for interviews with “the writer” and “the artist,” who readers will likely conclude are Hemingway and Picasso. Meanwhile, Sophie, a compassionate young woman from a small French town that suffered massive wartime destruction, finds work as a nurse at a Parisian hospital, where she secretly offers medical care to disenfranchised Romani children. Passages exploring Jake’s self-doubt drag on until Bowker abruptly injects conflict into the story: nearly simultaneously, Scribner’s rejects Jake’s article, Margaret cheats on him, and an assault leaves Jake concussed, blind, and disfigured. In the hospital, he and the unbelievably angelic Sophie meet and fall in love. Bowker’s postwar Paris is atmospheric and alive, but the meandering plot and one-note characters detract from the love story. Readers will be disappointed. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/20/2019
Genre: Romance/Erotica
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