Book Review: The One-in-a-Million Boy

The One-in-a-Million BoyThe One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The One-in-a-Million Boy is a story of the nuances of what makes a life meaningful. Simply put: it’s a story of how people have their own shortsighted, unwavering view of others and themselves and how sometimes, if they open their hearts, blindness may be healed. Tenderly, author Monica Woods opens our eyes to the characters, each with a unique history of experiences, dreams, secret shames, disappointments, or victories. This story is one in which every character’s words and thoughts feel like they carry importance, like a well-constructed poem. It is a careful, rather than hasty, revealing of people: Quinn, Belle, their little boy, and Ona, a 104 year-old woman in need of help with yard chores. This revealing is paralleled by the non-linear way in which Ona says she remembers her life story in “pieces” as she tells it to this 11-year old boy: “Because the story of your life never starts at the beginning. Don’t they teach you anything in school?”

What a delight it is to find that an author can choose such seemingly mundane characters and circumstances and craft them into a story that is beautiful, giving such hope for forming attachments between people of different ages, beliefs, and walks of life, who are brought together randomly. It’s a story of every person’s life—how we love and are loved, misunderstand and are misunderstood, reject and are rejected, dream and give up on dreams. The Audible narrator is fabulous. After listening to this book on a 10-hour road trip, my husband and I were thrilled to add it to our “favorites” list. If you appreciate a slow unfolding of events and humanness, you may very well enjoy this one. You’ll have a great ride with an old woman, a little boy, a career guitarist, bird watchers, rock bands, Guinness World Record winners, Boy-Scouts, Lithuanian immigrants, song-writers, bad guys, Maine road trips, and new friendships. Enjoy the nuances! (Story includes profanity).

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