4 out of 4 stars
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Having lost their daughter, Alaya, Wallace, and Hanni realize that they’re quite incompatible. They, therefore, divorce each other. Hanni, however, continues to feel guilty and blames herself for the death of their daughter. She, at times, suspects that Alaya’s leukemia was as a result of her previous lifestyle.
Set in New York City, Patrick Finegan’s Cooperative Lives focuses on Hanni’s life and how he related with her friends and families. Hanni’s family, which included Wallace and Alaya, had an exemplary relationship with her neighbors. Will the death of Alaya affect how they relate? To what extent are the themes of death, pain, and suffering, betrayal, and friendship used in the book? Well, grab the book and find out.
Reading this book was very enjoyable. The writer’s style of writing was commendable. The themes in this book were quite relatable, and every reader will, at one point or another, find themselves relating to this book. For instance, I found Wallace’s life after the divorce quite relatable especially the confusion, regret, and realization of incompatibility. Patrick creatively describes time, places, and people in such a vivid manner that their images are created in the readers’ minds.
Having lived in New York his entire Professional life, Patrick Finegan is evidently experienced in the way of life in the city. No doubt his choice of the setting of the novel. Although this is his first work of fiction, he did it so well that one is left doubting what his subsequent works will look like! I can’t wait to read his next novel!
I particularly liked how unique this book was. It is something between a novel and a play. For instance, how the characters were introduced. I thought it was a play. At the beginning of the book, each character is listed, and their relationship with other characters quoted. This made the reading very easy, as I could know every character’s role the very moment they were introduced. At the beginning of each chapter, the author jotted down leading statements and descriptions of the characters’ immediate environment, just like in plays.
The only thing I found unpleasant in this book was the overuse of imagery. The author, more often than not, takes more time describing events and places. This threatened plot development and the flow of the story.
To conclude. This was a nice novel with excellent characterization. It was a well-edited book with absolutely no errors. I, therefore, rate Cooperative Lives by Patrick Finegan 4 out of 4 stars and recommend it to anyone who loves well-structured books with unique concepts. I believe that no group of people will find the book inappropriate.
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