I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query for a review by email to hgunther234@hotmail.com.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

PETER and BETH by Doug Lalli

Hats Off Books
610 East Delano Street, Ste 104
Tucson, Arizona 85705
Genre: Fiction/Literature
Rating: Very Good
ISBN: 1587364964, $16.95, 186 pp

The back cover tells the essence of this fiction novel:

"Five years after Peter Granelli’s lone sexual encounter with Beth, a close friend from his college days, he spots her from a distance on a Manhattan street. Soon he becomes obsessed with the idea that Beth might have become pregnant as a result of their (somewhat disastrous) tryst, and for months he considers tracking her down and learning the truth. Finally Peter and Beth come face to face and he gets his answer. Why, though, doesn’t he quite believe what she’s telling him?"

Doug Lalli is a good writer–clear, straightforward–and carries you right along, but this novel is much more than a story about Peter’s obsession over Beth. It’s about Peter: his childhood, family, relatives; his feelings about his father, Mike, who rejected him; his job, which he doesn’t like; his friendship with Rick, a co-worker; his marriage to Claire which recently ended; his developing relationship with therapist Dr. Rhonda Millstein; and at the heart of it all . . . "But how can you trust people," I asked, "when you don’t trust people?"

Somehow you feel a New York influence in Peter’s psychological tripping but it’s the mystery of the possible child which holds you and still, even when you know, continues to hold you as Peter can’t decide how he feels, can he trust her, what does he want to do. It may be called Peter and Beth, but it’s definitely not a romance novel.

I would recommend this book based on the quality of Doug’s writing and his insightfulness into the complexity of the human condition.

Reviewed by Kaye Trout - August 3, 2006 - Copyright


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