Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Now that my book club has met to discuss this book, I can write about it. I picked up Lottery on the cheap from the Green Valley Book Fair a few months ago. It's about Perry, a man who is NOT retarded, he is just slow. Perry lives with his grandmother, who has raised him and homeschooled him. They love each other and they understand each other. Perry works a job he really enjoys at the fishing shop down the street from his house with his boss, Gary, who appreciates his hard-working attitude, and his best friend, Keith, who has never treated Perry any differently than he treats anyone else. Perry's life isn't perfect; he is constantly made uncomfortable when people get angry or violent, and he gets upset when people treat him as though he's retarded. His brothers make him call them his cousins, his father ran off to who knows where when he was a child, his mother only comes around when she wants something, and his beloved grandfather, who taught him everything there is to know about boats, died a few years ago. On top of all of that, he's in love with Cherry, the cashier at the convenience store he frequents, but he can't tell her. Still, he's pretty happy.

Then his grandmother dies. His cousin-brothers and his mother swoop in, kick him out of his house, sell it and give him his share - all of $500, according to them. Gary lets him move into an apartment over the store, which Perry thinks is pretty cool. He misses his Gram, but he still hears her voice in sticky situations, and he still does his five words a day, and he still buys a lottery ticket every week just like they used to do together. Then a funny thing happens: Perry wins the lottery. The big jackpot. His cousin-brothers and his mother, who make him very uncomfortable, keep coming around, talking about his Power and how he needs to give it to them. And things change - some things for the good, some for the bad.

I really liked this book. It was a little bit of a pat, happy ending - but sometimes I really want a happy ending. And in this book, I really wanted a happy ending. I thought Patricia Wood nailed the voice of Perry. It was very believeable to me, and I liked Perry very much. I also liked Keith and Gary and Gram, and while I was clearly meant to hate Perry's brothers and his mom, they were realistic characters to hate - I know too many people like them. I'm even related to some, too. I definitely thought this was a worthwhile read. 4 of 5 stars.

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