May 14, 2015

Review: I, Peter Wood by Paige Hardt

Peter Wood was sixty-four years old when his assistant found him on the lounge chair in his office with a glass of half finished, eighty-year-old brandy clasped between his frozen fingers. His head was slumped forward on his chest, and his eyes were peacefully closed, his intention merely to sleep, when he was unexpectedly snatched from the land of the living.

He leaves his broken family a set of strict instructions they don't understand, and hesitantly follow, in an effort to get to the bottom of who Peter Wood really was. On the hunt for someone they once knew and all long for, they find themselves releasing secrets and potentially risking it all on their journey for truth about a man, now becoming a small boy known as Peter Rabbit.

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Sixty-four year old Peter Wood dies in his office chair. His death is unexpected, but he's planned everything carefully and clear instructions have been left. For his first ex-wife Emily and his three children Mary, Jamie and Audrey it's a huge shock. Emily has never stopped loving him, he was the love of her life, but he was never there. Peter was super rich, but he wasn't a good husband or father. Just before his death he decided to correct his mistakes and because of that Emily and her children now travel to the lake where Peter spent his childhood. There his sister Norah is waiting for them with instructions. Peter's children have never been there and for them it's a new experience to find out more about their father.

While being together for a longer period there's also a chance to reconnect with each other. Mary always wanted to follow in her father's footsteps to make him love her. Jamie is a womanizer and has a successful career, but he also has a drinking problem. Audrey does what she loves most, she's a painter. She doesn't have much and she's never asked her father for money. While spending time at the lake Peter's children are getting to know their father, but there's also a lot they have to find out about themselves. This has all kinds of consequences, some more pleasant than others...

I, Peter Wood is a beautiful story about a man who lived only for his career. He had huge sums of money, but he didn't have a private life. The very sweet boy Peter Rabbit, as his family used to call him, turned into a smart businessman who didn't care about anything but his career. I liked that he tried to make up for that after his death. His three children are all very different. They don't get along particularly well, but now they have to find a way to make that happen.

Real love is an important element of this story. It can be found in many places and it doesn't mean it will always lead to happiness. The three children each find something important while they're staying at the lake. I liked that idea, also the thought that Peter Wood somehow managed to make these plans for after his death, like he knew this was going to happen. Nobody in this family is perfect, all the main characters make plenty of mistakes and that's what's the strength of this story. They keep messing up, but they also manage to make things right again. I, Peter Wood is a great book about life, money, the importance of family and becoming the person you want to be.

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