In this disarming debut, Brian Strause has written a vastly entertaining novel
about an American family transfixed by a series of mysterious events. From a
comfortable suburb of Columbus, Ohio, emerges a story of rebellion, faith and
hope, bridging the cultural gap between those who believe in miracles and those
who wish they could.
Monroe Anderson - as quiet on the outside as he is sardonic and alive on the
inside - has spent most of his eighteen years trying to fly beneath the radar.
If he can remain invisible, he believes, his sadistic older brother, a rising
golf star, might not torment him, his workaholic father, a renowned litigator,
might not notice him long enough to be disappointed, and his mother might not
have to struggle so hard to find a hopeful word. The only people who glimpse the
real Monroe are his girlfriend, Emily, and his eleven-year-old sister, Annika.
On the night of his senior prom, Monroe finds Annika floating facedown in the
family pool. He dives in and rescues her, but not quickly enough to prevent her
from slipping into a coma. As the family copes with this crisis, Monroe's mother
turns to religion, his father turns to liquor, and Monroe himself must decide
what's worth believing in, what's worth fighting for, and, finally, who he wants
By turns humorous and heartbreaking, personal and sweeping, familiar and
extraordinary, Brian Strause's mesmerizing novel takes readers on an
unforgettable emotional journey into America's heartland.
Strause's first novel is fast gathering momentum as one of the 'it' books for 2005. With its teenage protagonist, Maybe A Miracle has the potential to appeal to readers from the older teens through to adults, both men and women; and with subject matter that runs the gauntlet of hot topic subjects, including religion and politics, this is also a shoe-in for book clubs who enjoy a little contention in their reading matter... (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
First time novelist Strause creates a work that is laugh-out loud funny ... provocative and unique. - 4 stars (out of 4).
The metaphysical runs up against the mundane with darkly comic ambiguity.....
Monroe's barbed detachment and biting sarcasm, tempered by the awe that steals
over him at unguarded moments, hold the reader even when the plot crawls.
An original take on a boy's coming-of-age and a sly, thoughtful look at the
complexities of faith.
Library Journal - Beth E. Andersen
Monroe is a captivating narrator who will both delight and outrage readers while
also making them think; nothing escapes his dead-on riffs about today's
tumultous political and religious landscape. Sure to hit the book club circuit
with a vengeance, this debut is highly recommended.
Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean and The Breakdown Lane
As tender as a slow dance, as rebellious as a hip-hop song.... Brian Strause
manages to convince the reader that mere human life is the greatest sin and
salvation--with room for belief, betrayal, the beneficence of baseball, folly,
Madison Smartt Bell, author of The Stone That the Builder Refused
Brian Strause's Maybe A Miracle starts out somewhere not far from J.D.
Salinger's rye field, but it ends up in a new and strange and marvelous place
where only this extraordinary first novelist could take it.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Caitlin Maybe A Miracle Review This book was amazing!!! You always hear about those books that you can "never put it down" but I never thought that to be true, until I read Maybe A Miracle. It's one of the best books I've ever read. I am reading for an independent novel project... Read More
Rated of 5
by Irene Foley Maybe A Miracle I found this book enthalling, thought provoking and delightful. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Brian painted a picture of this family with such understanding and realism I felt like I was right there and knew them. Great read for a first novel,... Read More
Brian Strause was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, and now lives in Silver
Lake, California. In the interview, which you can read in full at
BookBrowse, he answers a number of questions including the inevitable one asked
of first time authors - whether Maybe A Miracle is based on his own
experiences. To which he replies:
"They say to write what you know, but unfortunately the life I've lived isn't
exactly chock-full of drama. And indeed, I grew up in Columbus on an idyllic
street in a storybook neighborhood. But it's not like Blue Velvet,
where it was sordid once you start peeling back the layers. It was all quite
painfully normal. Which is all to say, my own family while incredibly
supportive of me are not particularly helpful when it comes to making up
stories.....In a lot of ways Maybe a Miracle is a sibling love story, but
unfortunately I don't have a sister. Writing this book, though, allowed me to
imagine what that dynamic might be like and by placing his sister in a coma from
A Man Called Intrepid author dies aged 89(Dec 03 2013) William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, A Man Called...