The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It takes real talent to make a memorable novel from the tale of a very old lady, a boy scout, and the Guinness Book of Records. And it takes real talent to make the reader think about life, death, coping with grief, and one's own place in the universe through this gentle tale, but Monica Wood does it brilliantly.
Ona Vickus, 104, Lithuanian immigrant from the turn of the century, is still spry but needs a little help feeding her wild birds. The local boy scout troop are lined up to do Saturday help and record the life of the person they are helping. Ona's helper is Belle and Quinn's son, the boy in a million, who counts everything in tens and hoards everything in tens and we never really get to meet him except through the effect he has on the other characters. Because of his actions his 'not much there' father finds his place at last, Ona gets to live her last years challenging life not hiding away and his mother finds her feet and lives again.
It's a book I've already reread and will want to reread again. It's a pleasure to find a novel which can take the ordinary, and tell a story about it, and make those ordinary people and their lives have relevance and meaning for everyone.
Do read it.
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