He can hear them as he lies in his hospital bed. Coma, the nurses whisper. An accident. A 911 call. But Richard remembers none of it. What happened to him?
Richard Lyons knows he’s a good man–a good husband, a good provider, a good father. He works hard and doesn’t suffer fools.
So, when he finds himself in a coma, unable to speak, but able to hear those around him, he’s desperate to awaken. Desperate to return to the life he remembered with his wife, Clarissa, and son, Andrew. Only the life he remembered doesn’t seem to be true. The nurses wonder why Clarissa still visits given what Richard did; Andrew never comes; and the police investigating whatever happened to him leave Richard with more questions than answers. Richard knows his memory now is akin to swiss cheese: riddled with holes.
As memories come back to him, Richard sees the life he thought he knew fade away after a shocking revelation about Andrew. Hoping recovering his memories will be the key to awakening, Richard tries desperately to remember where things went wrong. Only, as the memories come back, he begins to wonder if he was really as good of a man as he believed…
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Richard looked down on everyone that wasn’t as lucky as himself. He thought that the only way to live life properly was through hard 12-hour work days to support your family, and that it was your own fault if you didn’t do this. He disregarded the fact that some people may not be able to take those jobs, or may get sick and lose the ability to work at all. He just called them lazy, and even said that they deserved to die rather than forcing hard-working people to pay for their medical expenses. He hates that his church is starting to teach the youth group that some people aren’t poor because they are lazy, he hates politics being in his church at all. He tries to tell his son differently, but soon Andrew starts growing apart from him. Just when he thinks that things are back to normal, his son gets into an accident, and his entire life is turned upside down.
The only thing that would have made this book better for me would have been if Richard was more likable. I would have had more sympathy for his coma and what was going on with his life if he wasn’t so full of hate from the very start of the novel. Nevertheless, this book was definitely hard-hitting. I have never had any family members or known anyone that had absolutely no compassion for a single person who was poor, working in a low-wage job, or generally down on their luck. Richard didn’t care what your case may be, if you did not have money, it was no one’s fault but your own. There was no possibility that there may be circumstances that were not in the person’s control that brought them to this situation. No, they must have just been lazy in life. I couldn’t fathom how Richard didn’t see the truth, but he didn’t. He stuck to his beliefs from the beginning to the end, and it was definitely interesting to read such a stubborn character.
The book doesn’t start off with Richard being in a coma, but the further you get into it, the closer you get to the point where Richard is in the coma, and the more Richard remembers about why he is in his current situation. Crayton is an excellent storyteller and makes sure that readers can feel how lost Richard truly feels while he is in the coma. You are finding things out at the same time Richard is, basically reliving the last few months of his life. This form of storytelling kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire novel.
The ending of the story was still shocking, and I reread the last few pages just to truly absorb what happened. I would definitely recommend this book just for the ending, even if the book wasn’t as amazing as it is. Now, I have to say that this is a must-read! It’s a bit of a political thriller in some ways, but it is mostly a mystery-suspense novel. If you are a fan of either of these genres, then this is the novel for you.
I received a copy of this novel and this is my voluntary review.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 books