Nathan Smythe is a young man with a musical addiction, a stressful family, and two roommates who seem to be the only people who understand him. He is the type of guy who thrives on consistency and stability, but lately, at every turn, his stable life—and that of his three siblings—is deteriorating. When tragedy strikes his family, he experiences a depth of emotion he never knew he could access, and along the way, meets someone who could change his trajectory in life forever. Only this is not what he had planned at all. But then again, he never really had a plan. Armed with a playlist to try and bring reason to the newfound chaos in his world, Nathan will do what he has always done–move forward without a clue. It’s worked up to this point, right? Life. Love. Music. Not necessarily in that order.
An engaging story told with humor, Not So Common People by T Gamache follows the life of Nathan Smythe which begins uneventfully then suddenly takes unexpected turns.
At thirty years old, Nathan, an introvert obsessed with music and who holds a degree in music performance, is struggling to develop a plan for his future. Currently working as a barista, Nathan lives with his two roommates, Frank and Claire. The third in a family in which the firstborn is a millionaire and the second, a Lutheran priest, not much is expected of him, something Nathan is grateful for given his current situation. Life goes on as usual for Nathan until he discovers that his judgmental older brother has a secret lifestyle that he has been hiding. His eldest brother, the millionaire, follows with a bombshell of his own. Nathan struggles with the news while trying to navigate his love life, as his younger sister also faces daunting changes.
Told through Nathan’s point of view, the style reveals more about Nathan, which helps develop his role and portrays him as a realistic character. Being an introvert, Nathan’s thoughts reveal his opinions and his sense of humor. The style is also appropriate as his spoken words constantly differ from his thoughts. Supporting characters are equally realistic and since the work only focuses on a few of them, each is well-developed and plays a significant role in the novel. In the beginning, Nathan’s story is that of a typical modern thirty-year-old struggling to chart his future. As the remarkable plot advances, shocking events occur which stir Nathan’s dull life. Music plays an important, and clever role in the novel as different songs mark different stages of Nathan’s life. I love the cover for this book. It is amazingly artistic and so fitting for the story.
This story is engrossing, well-written and compelling with a steady appropriate pace and remarkable characters. Not So Common People by T Gamache is a fascinating novel that features an interesting main character who changes as sudden events take place in his life. Must Read! Book reviewed by Edith Emunah for Chick Lit Cafe.
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