As Life Goes: Elementary (Book One) – by Jason Zandri
Mark Sanford returns to his hometown with his son Matthew in tow to rebuild their lives. Recently divorced, and with the mother totally abandoning her parental responsibilities, both father and son are beginning their fresh start together.
Matthew begins to make new friends in the neighborhood and at school while he tries to find his place among people that have been friends with one another for years at elementary school. Mark takes over the reins of the former family corner store with the help of a young woman looking for work. The ability to love and trust that woman entering his life is difficult for him because of all he has lost.
For Matthew, that “first love” is difficult to understand without a motherly influence and with a father that has been deeply hurt.
“Every new beginning starts from nothing. Understanding that you can have everything in the love of one person, isn’t that worth the risk of personal capital? Isn’t that kind of love worth it?” by Diane Wakeford.
“Have I ever told you, you’re the nicest boy I’ve ever met?” by Melissa Bancroft.
“I will have the friends I want. I don’t care what boy likes me or what boy I like. You’re an awesome friend. I am not giving you up because we’re going to different schools or for any one person either.” by Elizabeth Wellsworth.
This story of heart-break and divorce plays out across America every day. Unlike the higher percentage of outcomes, the main character Mark Sanford is rebuilding his life with his pre-teen son Matthew. I quote the first paragraph as it is a well written indicative snap shot of life as it now stands for Mark Sanford.
“Mark Sanford stood among the boxes in the living room of his father’s former home—a small three-bedroom cape—with a cup of coffee in his hand. The weak morning sunlight broke through the early winter cloud cover and came in the windows and around the hanging drapes. It had been nearly sixteen years since he’d lived on South Cherry Street with his parents. He remembered the day he moved out of the house to his apartment at eighteen years of age, shortly after his mother had passed away. He now smiled at the irony of wanting to come back to a place he was so ready to leave in order to start his adult life so many years ago, in an effort now to simply start over.”
This is a touching story about a father creating a new life out of the circumstances around him while his son Matthew adjusts to his new home, loss of friendships, new school, challenge of building new friends, awkward adolescence, coming of age, and the desire to be grow up and be included in all of the important decisions that affect his life.
The story is well written and realistic. The characters are probably someone you know and could even be yourself. Life lessons are taught within the situations and dialog between families, friends, and co-workers. There is a mixer of character, moral values, and light romance that show how small town communities, especially in the past, impacted each life within the community. For some of us older readers it brings back some nostalgia. For the younger generation it shows that there is more to life than the electronics that consume them. It is a story of family bonds, community, friendships, life, love, passion, direction, and personal interaction.
Theodocia McLean endorses As Life Goes: Elementary (book one) by Jason Zandri as a reminder of simpler times and straight forward even “elementary” values. As Life Goes: The End Of The Innocence (book two) continues the story. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on December 14, 2015.
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary