This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite
Retreating to the small town of his childhood after a failed marriage, Ryan finds himself working at a gas station/convenience store. His higher education and philosophy degree, as predicted by his father, have done nothing to advance his career. Disappointed in himself and his failure to build a better life, he constructs a protective carapace of witty sarcasm and cuts himself off from friends and family. Emerging Man by Steve McEllistrem describes how Ryan is harangued daily by Linda, his manager, who refers to him as ‘college boy’ and delights in assigning him the most menial tasks, how he spends a great deal of time daydreaming about moving on - climbing into his car and just following the road to see where it would lead.
But his world rapidly changes when Bitsy, an intelligent older woman, enters his father’s life and an eccentric old man starts to carve a large standing stone in the field opposite the gas station. Intrigued, he befriends the old fellow, who in turn encourages him to work on the stone with him. A deep and meaningful relationship develops, with Ryan beginning to see a more purposeful existence for himself. An unexpected, dramatic event presents a window of opportunity, but can he possibly escape the security of inaction and the bonds of small town life?
I would normally find characters who blame their parents for their own shortcomings a somewhat hackneyed device but Steve McEllistrem has created a narrative which quickly overcame my aversion. Don’t get me wrong, it is hard to like the central character, Ryan, who would appear to be the sole architect of his misfortunes but again, the author’s skilful plotting and peerless prose keeps one engaged throughout the story. Emerging Man is an excellent study of an intelligent man struggling to climb out of a rut that he has created for himself. I found my toes curling at McEllistrem’s description of a family meal and my heart going out to the old sculptor who worked on the standing stone. An enjoyable, if haunting read - I do not hesitate to recommended it.