A fast-paced, intriguing read…
Set in 1998, Jones’s novel tells the story of a young man on brink of despair as reality and illusion merge in this emotionally moving story. Albert is a young man living a solitary life. The highlight of his days is visiting the local library and borrow books to read. Longing to get in a relationship, Albert tries to get close to a few women but faces rejection each time. Things seem to look up when he forms an easy friendship with a new library patron, but the realization that she is already in a relationship, breaks Albert’s heart, sending him into a downward spiral of depression. As Albert’s condition worsen, he finds himself lost into a world where reality and illusion are hard to figure out. Soon, the long-buried memories of a traumatic past event resurface, sending Albert on brink of mental breakup. The book begins with Albert’s everyday routine, and the reader immediately realizes there’s something wrong with the young man: as an adult, he is still dependent on his mother both financially and emotionally. When an unfortunate incident induces severe psychosis in Albert, his mother’s urgency to seek a treatment for him intensifies, making readers realize the extent of Albert’s mental illness. Jones beautifully conveys Albert’s struggles as he cycles through obsessions with Elly. The relationship between Albert and his mother is sketched with care. The reader’s heart will ache for Albert’s mother who is bound to him not only by maternal love, but by that sense of imminent emergency that hovers around Albert, whose mental problems begin during his childhood years after a tragic incident takes his father away from him. Jones beautifully and tenderly explores mental illnesses, including depression, paranoia, and psychosis and the life of mind without revealing Albert’s exact condition. Jones’ narrative style feels stiff at times, and his prose lacks the flair of a veteran writer. But his characters are beautifully flawed (Albert’s emerging instability and his mother’s concern are especially heartbreaking). In Albert, he has created a realistic, memorable character. Readers will find themselves rooting for him as he tries to attain some kind of normalcy through dating and struggles with his deep-rooted fears and anxieties while the childhood trauma of losing his father unexpectedly weighs heavy on his mind. Olivia and Sydney are equally convincing, though the reason behind their real intentions stays unclear. This novel makes for a potent portrait of an agitated mind.
Born From A Wish
By Dino Jones
Pub date October 1, 2020
Price $6.94 (USD) Kindle edition, $9.99 Paperback