Excerpt from The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Good Luck of Right Now

by Matthew Quick

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick X
The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2014, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2015, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Excerpt
The Good Luck Of Right Now

Dear Mr. Richard Gere,

In Mom's underwear drawer—as I was separating her "personal" clothes from the "lightly used" articles I could donate to the local thrift shop—I found a letter you wrote.

As you will recall, your letter was about the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing, China—you were advocating for a boycott because of the crimes and atrocities the Chinese government committed against Tibet.

Don't worry.

I'm not one of those "crazy types."

I immediately realized that this was a form letter you sent out to millions of people through your charitable organization, but Mom was a good enough pretender to believe you had personally signed the letter specifically to her, which is most likely why she saved it—believing you had touched the paper with your hands, licked the envelope with your tongue—imagining the paper represented a tangible link to you . . . that maybe a few of your cells, microscopic bits of your DNA, were with her whenever she held the letter and envelope.

Mom was your biggest fan, and a seasoned pretender.

"There's his name written in cursive," I remember her saying to me, poking the paper with her index finger. "From Richard Gere! Movie star RICHARD GERE!"

Mom liked to celebrate the little things. Like finding a forgotten wrinkled dollar in a lint-ridden coat pocket, or when there was no line at the post office and the stamp sellers were up for smiles and polite conversation, or when it was cool enough to sit out back during a hot summer—when the temperature dips dramatically at night even though the weatherman has predicted unbearable humidity and heat, and therefore the evening becomes an unexpected gift.

"Come enjoy the strange cool air, Bartholomew," Mom would say, and we'd sit outside and smile at each other like we'd won the lottery.

Mom could make small things seem miraculous. That was her talent.

Richard Gere, perhaps you have already labeled Mom as weird, pixilated—most people did.

Before she got sick, she never gained or lost weight; she never purchased new clothes for herself, and therefore was perpetually stuck in mideighties fashions; she smelled like the mothballs she kept in her drawers and closet, and her hair was usually flattened on the side she rested against her pillow (almost always the left).

Mom didn't know that computer printers could easily reproduce signatures, because she was too old to have ever employed modern technology. Toward the end, she used to say that "computers were condemned by the Book of Revelations," but Father McNamee told me it's not true, although we could let Mom believe it was.

I'd never seen her so happy as she was the day your letter arrived.

As you might have gathered, Mom wasn't all there during the last few years of her life, and by the very end extreme dementia had set in, which made it hard to distinguish the pretending of her final days from the real world.

Everything blurred over time.

During her good moments—if you can believe it—she actually used to think (pretend?) that I was you, that Richard Gere was living with her, taking care of her, which must have been a welcome alternative to the truth: that her ordinary unaccomplished son was her primary caregiver.

"What will we be having for dinner tonight, Richard?" she'd say. "Such a pleasure to finally spend so much time with you, Richard."

It was like when I was a boy and we'd pretend we were eating dinner with a famous guest—Ronald Reagan, Saint Francis, Mickey Mouse, Ed McMahon, Mary Lou Retton—occupying one of the two seats in the kitchen that were always empty, except when Father McNamee visited.

  • 1
  • 2

Excerpted from The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick. Copyright © 2014 by Matthew Quick. Excerpted by permission of Harper. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Was Jesus Bipolar?

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Memories of the Future
    Memories of the Future
    by Siri Hustvedt
    I've never kept a journal, but my mother has written in hers for years, the annual volumes she's ...
  • Book Jacket: Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss
    Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss
    by Rajeev Balasubramanyam
    Rajeev Balasubramanyam encapsulates the theme of Professor Chandra Follows his Bliss in its first ...
  • Book Jacket: The Workshop and the World
    The Workshop and the World
    by Robert P. Crease
    The longest glacier in France, the Mer de Glace, is losing roughly 12 feet of ice height each year. ...
  • Book Jacket: Instructions for a Funeral
    Instructions for a Funeral
    by David Means
    Following a venture into novels with Hystopia in 2016, Instructions for a Funeral is a return to ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    When We Left Cuba
    by Chanel Cleeton

    An exhilarating historical novel from the author of Next Year in Havana, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Greek to Me
    by Mary Norris

    The Comma Queen returns with a buoyant book about language, love, and the wine-dark sea.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
An American Marriage
by Tayari Jones

A masterpiece of storytelling, and a 2018 Oprah's Book Club Selection.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win Ecstasy

Win copies to share with friends or your book club!

Ecstasy reveals the true Alma Mahler: composer, author, daughter, mother, wife, lover, and muse.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A B Penny A T U

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.