A review of my book, Room for Two, recently appeared in Meridian Magazine. My only comment on the review is that the reviewer seems to think the book somewhat fictionalized (the review appears in a column that reviews four other works of fiction). I'd like to state that the book is non-fiction and is based on my memory and journals of the time. The only things that were changed, as stated before the first chapter, were the names of some of the characters. Here's the review in its entirety:
Room for Two is a look back by Abel Keogh to a tragic time in his life. Therefore it isn't entirely fictional, but is a somewhat autobiographical account written in a fictionalized form.
This is the story of a young man coming to terms with grief, guilt, anger, and profound loss. He steps into his apartment one day, calls out to his pregnant wife, and hears a gun shot. He's left to wonder why she killed herself and ultimately their unborn child. He also has to deal with the knowledge that he'd been prompted three times that day to do something other than what he'd done and in each case, following that prompting might have saved his wife's life.
The blood and horror of the situation leave him too shocked to apply the CPR that might have given their child a better chance of survival, and he has to live with that failure too. With Abel, the reader feels the anger and betrayal of a senseless death, the loneliness of the loss of a beloved companion, and the emptiness of a dream given no chance to live.
Through the year following the tragic death, Abel mourns, but he also reaches out for someone to understand and love. His search isn't always wise -- it's even selfish at times -- but he relentlessly pursues a course centered on getting on with his life that leads him to several kinds of relationships, the ability to forgive, and greater sensitivity toward others.
There's a strong thread dealing with running that weaves through the book. This thread is the means of providing insights, but is interesting in its own right as Abel moves from running as the means of losing weight to keeping pace with a dedicated marathon runner. Some of Abel's treatment of the women he dates is rather cavalier, and he's a little too casual about physical contact with them, but overall the book is interesting and well-written. It also has a good grasp of the various stages of grieving. The theme sounds dreary, but I think most readers will find the story, with its relentless drive to move forward, uplifting and a source of hope.