Cheryl T. Washington, DC (August 12, 2012)
I bought this book last Saturday morning for my new Kindle (which I just love by the way!). Anyway, I sat down in my favorite chair and started reading. Except for the couple of times I left the chair to get something to drink etc., I read the entire book straight through. Don’t do that very often!
I like many things about Out of Fear: The author takes you inside the mind and heart of the main character, Will Stallworth, via a first-person point of view. I don’t remember being this close with a character in a novel. The character of Will Stallworth is complex and fascinating. He curses like a sailor, lives by a take-no-prisoners ethos, and is over-sexed, but he has a tender hearted side that we see in his relationships with his mother, sister, mentor Gregory Campbell, and his cat, Isabelle, whom he dotes on.
Family history and dynamics play a big role in the main plot of the story. Will is suffering mightily from forces that he is completely unaware of and therefore powerless to change. Until that is, he does become aware of what those forces are and decides to move aggressively to turn his meandering life around.
Will has nightmares and panic attacks and those scenes were chilling. Especially the one . . . well, you’ll read it yourself!
On balance, I loved this book. I was moved on many levels and kept on the edge of my seat from the get-go.
The cast of characters that comprise the many subplots are intricate, too. I especially liked Deborah Bernstein, Will’s art director partner. She is honest and loyal to her team and does not tolerate fools. Will’s nemesis, Emory Barnes, director of marketing, is priggish, conniving and harbors a family history as bruised and wounded as Will’s.
I now have a decent grasp of the advertising industry thanks to this book. Author Hutcheson ran a successful ad agency in Atlanta for many years and is knowledgeable and savvy about the business – the good and bad parts. The pressure those people are under!
Finally, I loved that this story is set in Atlanta. I went to school at Emory (as did the author by the way) and have many fond memories of the city as well as continuing relationships with some good friends.
On balance, I loved this book. I was moved on many levels and kept on the edge of my seat from the get-go. Finally, the book offers a message of hope for each of us. We are not doomed to repeat the missteps and mistakes of our forbearers, if we have the courage that it takes to face our dark side, discover our own truth, and live our lives free from the clutches of fear. I read that the author is writing four novels about Will Stallworth, his life and times. The second one, Will Wakes Up, will be out this Fall and I will be waiting.