I was eager to review The Journey once I saw its subject matter and read a passage from the book. I knew that I was reading something special. It appeared to be a novel rooted in detail and clever plot points with a breadth of knowledge concerning what it was presenting. When we meet Nick, the main character in The Journey, he’s getting his mouth burned by a piece of pizza while his wife attempts to persuade him to scratch off the last box in a prize scratcher – one that contains a chance to win a trip to Italy. Sure enough they win and, despite Nick’s objections, they go.
Where The Journey departs from other books is in the presentation of a main character that isn’t particularly likable. At first glance, this is a daring move on the part of the author, N.V. Maresca, and one that largely comes off magnificently. Nick is a war vet who now works in an office with clients that like his work, but aren’t really sure about him. His past has erected a wall which protects him from most strangers, but his outgoing and affectionate wife pushes the outside world in on him despite this and, usually, to humorous effect. As Nick’s layers peel away we start to really connect with him as a person. Instead of coming off as pretentious or overly complex, his shy manner becomes quite endearing.
Every time Nick is exposed to new situations and new personalities, a bit of him grudgingly indulges in what is being placed in front of him. He keeps being taken outside of his comfort zone while his wife offers the perfect comedic follow-up not far behind. For the reader, N.V. Maresca’s richly detailed depictions of Italy and its culture, along with Nick’s discomfort at exploring it, is a literary feast for the senses.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Page Count||350 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|