These Things Happen
These Things Happen by Michael Eon had me on the edge of my seat from page one. Told from the perspective of thirty-two-year-old Daniel Zimmer, the story begins in a heart-breaking way: with him cradling Max, his older brother, who just attempted suicide. Daniel knew Max had been struggling; in fact, they both had been struggling for as long as he could remember. Growing up with a highly abusive, manipulative, and tyrannical father, the boys never recovered from the traumas and horrors they faced.
Even as adults, both had worked for their father’s very lucrative and successful real estate company, a job that more than paid the bills but sucked the soul out of them. Daniel had finally escaped working for their father years ago, but Max pushed forward, feeling as if he had nowhere else to go. Now, as Daniel looks at his brother, he realizes he did not understand the capacity with which Max was still struggling and cannot believe he walked in in the nick of time to call for help.
Eon writes in a way that flashes back and forth between the men’s present and past. He explores their childhood, detailing the horrific and tragic circumstances that caused their pain. An excellent writer, Eon had me captivated with grief for the story of these two brothers. He truly painted a picture of sorrow, one that filled me with emotion on their behalf and helped me understand why the two suffer as much as they do in adulthood.
As the story continues, the reader learns that both brothers, specifically Daniel, suffer from alcohol addiction. Much of the book focuses on this and how Daniel’s obsession with drinking leads to problems and failures in relationships. Attending Alcoholics Anonymous in an attempt for sobriety, even when Daniel is able to put down the bottle, he still struggles with the remaining steps of the program. Despite the help of Jill and Brie, two other major characters, Daniel still craves the solace he finds in drinking. Through Daniel’s story, Eon helps the reader explore the mind of an alcoholic, seeing how many various factors contribute to the challenges they face in overcoming addiction.
Although this story has its grim moments, I still finished the novel feeling hopeful. Almost all of the characters have a bleak narrative, but the story is told in a way that did not make me sad; rather, moved and wistful for a better future for everyone. Eon truly formulated a beautiful story, exploring so many serious and hard topics exceptionally. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this novel, and I think any who enjoys general fiction, specifically about addiction and grief, would too.
|Page Count||273 pages|
|Publisher||Girl Friday Books|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|