pretend all your life book coverReviewed by Claudia Robinson

The booze was starting to suck his skin closer to his bones: it stirred again the shipwrecked dreams of liberation, while the music mixed in his lofty heartbreak. The flicker of the candles reminded him, despite himself, of a time earlier in his life when he’d believed he was the owner of a soul– a real tangible thing that would float up after him when all this withering was over: his ticket, a way he could live forever.”Pretend All Your Life, Joseph Mackin

9/11 – harbinger of shattered dreams, destroyer of lives, executioner of souls, hopes and faith. 9/11 – emancipator?

Meet Dr. Richard Gallin, Park Avenue plastic surgeon, operating and living in a post 9/11 world, a gray, lusterless universe that has become jumbled and confused, dark and empty, numb. The loss of his son to the exploits of terrorists serves as a daily reminder that life, fate and destiny are not of our own choosing. Suffering, on the verge of losing his self to the pit of despondency that has replaced all familiarity, Richard finds himself intermingling with blackmailers, street thugs, a new lover and a ghost from the past that succeed at sending one man’s dispirited, placid life, in to a melodramatic maelstrom of emotion, feelings, shifting responsibilities and priorities.

Pretend All Your Life is beautifully written, eloquent, emotional, passionate, beautiful. Every character unfolds through Mackin’s elegant use of the English language, his words a dance of intuitive sentiment, threaded with excitement, surprise and inner dialogue so sententious and persuasive that the reader can’t help but relate to and each and every character despite their flaws and subterfuges.

Written over a period of 6 days, Pretend All Your Life will make you think, sigh and ponder the lives of those within the pages of this exceptional book, as well as your own. How far would you go for love? Exactly what limits would you transcend to ensure their happiness at the risk of your own? Pretend All Your Life will challenge your answers.

In a nutshell? Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

Claudia lives on Cape Cod with her husband and two children. She entertains her passion for reading in between providing services to help empower and improve the lives of low-income residents.

This book was provided free of any obligation by Permanent Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.