3 out of 4 stars
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The Perfect Match by T. Wayne Bloodworth is a novel about a widowed cardiac surgeon who is at a crossroads in his life. It can be categorized in the General Fiction genre. After his wife Emily’s death fifteen years earlier, Zack Folsom became absorbed in his surgical career to cope with his grief. As a side hobby, he started Surgical Robotics Inc., a company that produces surgical robotics instruments. Zack also endured changes in his personal life due to his wife’s passing. His ten-year-old son Billy was sent to live with Emily’s parents while Zack finished his surgical residency. This turned into a long-term living situation and a tense, estranged relationship between father and son.
Now forty-six years old, Zack considers retiring from medicine or, at least, winding down to a part-time surgical position. In addition, an international corporation has made an offer to buy his now successful robotics company. Zack hasn’t had any serious romances over the years, but this may change when he meets Gabriella, the corporation’s charming Italian lawyer.
I enjoyed this story and found myself rooting for Zack every step of the way. He is a layered character who is likable despite his flaws. However, there is a “tell”, rather than “show”, writing style. There isn’t much subtlety to the writing, as the author explains what every little thing means. In general, the supporting characters aren’t well developed and I wasn’t able to connect with them. One exception is Zack’s “brother” Armando (when Zack’s father died, he was raised by Armando’s parents). He is an intriguing character and the pair’s close relationship is very heartwarming.
The plot lacks focus as the storyline goes off track at times. While the subplots are interesting, I would have liked more meatiness as opposed to a “blink and we’re on to something else” quality. For example, there are random, short contacts between Zack and his son. Then the plot will abruptly transition to something completely unrelated. This gives the story a disjointed feel. The ending ties up a little too neatly, although there are one or two twists along the way. One of the twists is somewhat predictable, although still satisfying.
An extra round or two of professional editing is needed here. I spotted approximately ten errors, such as typos, extra/missing/incorrect words, extra or missing punctuation, etc. Also, the following words are shown as two words instead of one – sweat pants instead of sweatpants, night club instead of nightclub, and door bell instead of doorbell.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. Despite the issues I mentioned, it is a pleasant, light read. The themes of family, coping with loss, and midlife changes are realistically explored. I would have liked more depth to some of the plotlines, but overall I enjoyed the story. I would recommend it to readers who enjoy contemporary fiction and beach-style reads.
The Perfect Match
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