Social Work


Fiction - Drama
272 Pages
Reviewed on 10/21/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography


Thomas Duffy is a New York based writer who has authored several fiction novels, including 2014's One Love. He finds stories of day-to-day challenges fascinating and intriguing. Duffy has written about different topics such as working in retail, romance, and existentialism. Social Work is his seventh novel. Duffy also has an interest in film criticism and has interviewed several celebrities from the silver screen, including Minnie Driver and Richard Dreyfuss.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Social Work is a work of literary style fiction focused on interpersonal drama and human connection and was penned by author Thomas Duffy. Duffy’s seventh novel, this emotive and highly moving tale features central pair, Marc and Lauren. As Marc recovers from a suicide attempt, social worker Lauren connects with him in an attempt to help him back to normal. But the road to true happiness is not smooth for either of them, and the backdrop of New York City plays host to a wide range of emotions as their bond deepens over the obstacles they must both overcome. What follows is a gripping drama with deep-rooted, poignant commentary on the human condition.

Author Thomas Duffy has a keen sense of what makes people tick, and that resonance of the soul runs throughout his dramatic novel to keep readers glued to the psychological and emotional plight of Marc and Lauren. The slow-burning plot will suit readers who favor literary and character-led fiction, exploring the reasons for Marc’s deeds and the ways in which Lauren is able to relate to him through her work. The question of happiness is highly pertinent and reflects back on the reader to keep you thinking about it long after you’ve set the book down at night. Overall, Social Work is an exceedingly well written, highly intelligent and intrinsically human drama that is sure to captivate its readers from the start. I would highly recommend it for fans of contemporary emotive drama and psychological non-thriller fiction.

Grant Leishman

Marc was a troubled young man who had not been able to find his way in life successfully since he’d dropped out of college a few years earlier. After a failed suicide attempt, he is introduced to his new social worker/therapist Lauren at the hospital he was taken to. In Social Work by Thomas Duffy, with Lauren’s assistance, Marc tries to come to terms with what is good for him and his ongoing mental health if he is to become a happy, functioning member of society again. For Lauren, who is looking to the future herself and looking for a man to make her life with, Marc represents what should be one of her “success stories”. She sees much potential in Marc and wants the very best for him, even to the point of having feelings for her patient that she knows are ethically wrong and would be frowned on by her superiors. Together, they must plot the best course in life for both of them, knowing there are always many pitfalls along the way.

I liked the basic premise of Social Work and felt author Thomas Duffy did a very good job of exploring the plethora of problems, questions, and priorities that life throws at us from time to time. I particularly enjoyed the development of Marc as a character and the fact that despite the knock-backs and self-doubts, he was still prepared to push forward and discover his destiny. This is a good story that has great potential and could have run for a couple more hundred pages very easily. That being said, it was still a satisfying read and covered many of the issues of mental health and the lack of acceptance of those with mental health issues that need to be aired and talked about more often.