Book Review: Lottery by Patricia Wood

Lottery by Patricia WoodIn her debut novel, Patricia Wood writes about a man with an IQ of 76 who has had more than his fair share of hard knocks.  At a point when he is truly grieving, fate grants him the boon implied from the title of this uplifting novel — He wins $12 million in the lottery.  He attempts to forge his own path as he navigates through relationships with money grubbing family members bent on taking advantage of him, friends who treat him the same with or without money, and the towns people who develop a new respect for him as a result of his newly acquired millionaire status.

The writing throughout the book is comprised of deliberately simple sentences, appropriate for the characterization in the first person view of Perry L. Crandall, a man who describes himself as “not retarded” just “slow.”  Surprisingly, this unusual writing style is not a setback, and it allowed for an authentic view of Perry’s fresh perspective of the world.  For example, when a friend tells him that they don’t have all day, Perry thinks “…that is funny because we do. We do have all day.”

Regardless of his IQ, Perry’s reflections and reactions are both sincere and wise.    According to his saucy grandmother, Gram, his middle initial “L” stands for “Lucky.”  “She always called me lucky and honest.  Being honest means you don’t know any better,” reflects Perry in the opening prologue.

Perry’s optimism throughout his trials as well as his windfalls set the tone for this poignant story, and his intuitively frank words will stick with you long after you have finished reading.

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