Drury (A Dream Away, 2011) uses the Occupy protests as his novel’s backdrop in this quiet family tragedy.
After a somewhat dry prologue, the novel jumps to life as we meet Parker and Katrina Boyce, a young married couple that has recently moved to Florida from California. He’s a psychologist, and she’s a busy stay-at-home mom. Katrina is the victim of a carjacking, and before the couple gets a chance to celebrate her survival, Parker is shot in the chest by the drug-addicted ex-girlfriend of one of his patients, Roy Calhoun. While Parker recovers in the hospital, Katrina starts an affair with a police detective. It’s not long after this that the Boyces see the size of their household increase. Parker’s mother moves in, and Roy becomes a live-in property caretaker until a house fire forces the Boyces to temporarily live in an apartment. That’s when Katrina’s younger sister comes to stay with them. She begins dating Roy, and the two attend various Occupy protests. Roy, who served in Afghanistan, suffers from PTSD, which is triggered by the charged atmosphere of the protests. While there are some action-packed scenes, this is a character-driven novel. Conflict is minimal and the big events seem to have little lasting effect on the characters, even the big final tragedy only manages to derail the life of a single character. The novel’s theme seems to be that things tend to stay the same. The engaging writing style and the shifts in point of view mean the book flows swiftly along. However, the lack of character growth may frustrate some readers.
Colorful characters that, unfortunately, don’t develop.