Mr. Right Goes Wrong by Pamela Morsi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Pamela Morsi has a gift. Better, she has many gifts, but for today I will speak only of two of them.
First gift: in every book, she can write stories intertwined with everyday wisdom. Usually the source of this wisdom is old people, granparents or neighbours. She really can describe old people in a way that is real and vivid, non conventional, and she can show that in every single moment of our lives there is something to be learned, to be understood, to be gifted. This happens in this book, too.
Two small examples:
“You may be right about not making things so easy for her,” his stepmother said. “It’s human nature to value those things that we have to struggle for and take for granted those things that seem to fall naturally into our hands. You’ve been pretty easy pickings in the past”.
“Too easy,” Eli agreed. “This time around, if Mazy wants me, she’s going to have to make an effort.”
Ida nodded sagely. “Well, as I said, I’m no expert. But I think it’s worth pointing out that people are not things. When couples come together, it’s for big reasons. Sometimes more than they believe. And the person who is right for you is exactly the one that makes you become who heaven intended you to be.”
“It’s part of being a parent. You teach your child to be kind to others by being kind to them.”
Second gift: in every book, she can picture real-life characters. Heroes and heroines well defined, interesting, but most of all realistic, so realistic that we are induced to think of them not as “the hero and the heroine”, but as “this man and this woman”. It happens in “Mr. Right Goes Wrong”, too. Mazy, Tru and Eli, Jonah and Ida, Beth Ann, Tad, Karly, Charlie, and the small population of Brandt Mountain in North Carolina are vivid characters. Particular care is used in describing Eli’s work as wood craftsman. The description of handmade custom pieces in woodwork is accurate and interesting.
But the main peculiarity of this book is that it’s an unusual love story. So, if you are in search of a traditional romance, in which the hero is the perfect gentleman (or he doesn’t seem so, but in the end we discover that it was all a misunderstanding) and the heroine the perfect lady, without flaws, a honor-and-duty martyr, this is not the book for you. Pamela Morsi makes us very aware of the faults and defects of her characters. But she makes us like them in spite of this.
Mazy Gulliver is a woman with a heavy past. She has been unwise, silly, not farsighted or prudent, many times in her life. Mazy has done a lot of errors, not unawares, but often ingenuously. She is like the 80% of her generation: simple, nice, willing-to-be-happy, enthusiastic, and confused. But we see that there is one thing that she has protected with all her strenght and will: her son, Tru. Pamela Morsi describes real interactions with adolescents, so we can’t see this love in a lot of kisses or sweet words between mother and son, but we can understand it from the choices and the words of the characters. Mazy returns home in shreds, but not won.
Eli Latham is a steady, centered, good man, but too kind for his own good. He decides to change to win Mazy. But the game, difficult at the beginning, gets more and more addictive. Eli offends and mistreats Mazy, sometimes saying really stupid or improbable things, sometimes using gross words or treating her like a waitress.
When Mazy is reforming herself, he is doing bad, adopting a rude behavior. Pamela Morsi emphasize his attemps as really clumsy, often funny and humorous, only rarely disturbing.
He turns into a jerk around her. But his change brings some improvement in his life: he stands up to his brother, and in the end he confronts to the bastard-to-the-core of all the story, Tad.
Luckily, in the end Eli has the courage to tell Mazy all his machinations and lies and returns a good, trustworthy man. But now Mazy is changed, grown, empowered in her self-esteem, so she takes her time to be sure to develop a relationship on an equal footing.
Mazy and Eli are not easy, immediatly likeable characters. But each one grows and finds his and her true self and value.
The book pictures the difficult path to maturity. His motto could be: every cloud has a silver lining. It shows that every mistake can be forgiven if there is the will to be better and live with emphaty and kindness.
We can love Mazy and Eli as much as they learn, in the journey that the book narrates, to love and respect themselves.
This makes the last romance of Pamela Morsi a heart-breaking tale.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an onest review.
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