Well, Bartholomew Neil is that friend, maybe even a bit quirkier, and I’ll admit that that after reading the first few pages of this novel, I wasn’t sure if a friendship between me and Bartholomew was ever going to blossom. I wasn’t sure if another book with a sort-of autism spectre disordered protagonist (or whatever it is that makes Bartholomew, Bartholomew) was going to be my soup de jour.
But, just like that friend of yours, Bartholomew, if you give him a chance, grows on you till the point where eventually, you forget that he’s even quirky and you just see Bartholomew. And he’s your friend.
I’m so glad I chose to stick with this one. All of Quick’s characters in The Good Luck of Right Now are quirky, and yet they’re real too. Bartholomew has spent the first 39 years of his life with his mom, who had a unique perspective on life, who took care of Bartholomew, who loved Richard Gere, and who has just died of cancer. Bartholomew is not sure what comes next. He has a friend in Father McNamee, another quirky but loveable character. He’s in therapy - sort of - with Wendy, and as a result Bartholomew has a few life goals, like having a drink in a bar with an age-appropriate friend. And having a drink in a bar with a girl, hopefully Girlbrarian, whom he’s been studying from across the library for some time now.
With mom gone, Bartholomew’s life takes a few twists and turns. He meets new people, and has some adventures, and all of this is chronicled through his letters to Richard Gere, mom’s favourite actor, and Bartholomew’s sort-of namesake (don’t ask!).
This book was The Good Luck of Right Now for me. You’ll know what I mean when you read it.