The Reason You're Alive (Matthew Quick)

January 16, 2018

5/5 Stars


A gorgeous exploration into the after-effects of war, racism and humanity.


Man, I cannot emphasise how much I loved this book. I'd adored The Silver Linings Playbook because of its warmth and honesty, and this book had that exact same feel, with plenty of humour and emotion thrown in for good measure.

David is a Vietnam war veteran, and at the start, we form a pretty abysmal opinion of him. He's unashamedly racist, makes the most inappropriate comments, and his son Hank, a middle-class liberal, is perpetually embarrassed by him. 

However, it soon becomes apparent that there's more to David than meets the eye. Although he makes these racist comments, his actions showcase an individual with a lot of heart for everyone - regardless of race. Though he continues to use the ugly expression 'gooks' to describe the Vietnamese, his 'surrogate daughter' is Vietnamese, and he ends up walking her down the aisle.

It's a beautiful story of the importance of actions as well as words; and looking below the surface at people and situations. It's also about forgiveness and tolerance - told from a completely different angle. 

Hugely touching, this book warmed me to the bone, and made me cry just a little. Lovely stuff.


I was given a copy of this book from the publisher (many thanks!) - please note, this is an honest review, based on my real opinion of the book. 

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