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Tuesday, 22 September 2020

If You Can Get It - Brendan Hodge

If You Can Get It 
ISBN 9781621643456
eISBN 9781642291278
ASIN B08CPZC9RL
 

This book took me by surprise. Once I started, I could hardly put it down. I read it in three sittings over three days, but most of it was read in one sitting, while the kids were out on a sunny Saturday afternoon. I just sat in a chair in the sun and read. There has a been a lot of great fiction coming out from Ignatius Press over the last few year, like Ceremony of Innocence by Dorothy Cummings McLean or Do No Harm by  Fiorella De Maria. And in general a lot of great Catholic fiction, and this reminded me of some of the works of Carolyn Astfalk. This story is very well written for a debut novel. And I know I will pick up anything else released by Brendan Hodge. 

The story is much like books in Madeleine L’Engle’s ‘Chronos’ stories, in that its as she stated: defined as "ordinary, wrist-watch, alarm-clock time." Or as can be restated realistic fiction. And this is the fiction of life. Of learning, growing, discovering. It is fiction that will likely cause you to reflect upon your own life, and those of your close friends. And it is fiction that will inspire and uplift. Even if it begins a bit rough. It is the story of family, friendship, career, and figuring out what matters most for you in life. 

The main part of the story focuses on two sisters. Two very different sisters. Jen Nilsson has her MBA, a series of every more important jobs, a great condo, sleek BMW. And she hopes is weeks away from the coveted Director title at work. Katie is her younger sister who shows up on her door after not being able to hack being back home after college. She seems to lack direction, focus, and even basic responsibility. But as we all know, life does not always go according to plan. And soon Jen’s life is turned upside down, a corporate buyout, being laid off, and a new role she is hesitant about all lead to a horrendous long business trip to China. But after weeks abroad she finds some clarity on the long flight home. She makes some decisions and changes that would surprise many. 

The story looks at life in the twenty-first-century. It looks at work, family, friends and technology. And as the two sisters grow, they also grow closer. It closely examines what we take for granted, and how easy it is to go with the status quo. Both of which should be challenged and examined, and this book helps us to see that. But to find out all that happens to them, you will need to pick up and read this excellent novel. 

This debut novel was an excellent read. It is the type of story I hope my girls read when they are a little older. And it is the type of story that can inspire any reader to look at the world a little differently. And maybe let faith slip into that worldview. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Brendan Hodge:
If You Can Get It 
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