In the Path of Falling Objects
I don't think that Andrew Smith can write a novel that I wouldn't love. He has a unique writing style that is all his own. In The Path of Falling Objects is Andrew Smith's 2nd novel that I've read to date.
In the very beginning of the story we get a huge shocker, then we are left to let it digest for a little bit. I think Smith likes to wow us with an introduction like that. The kind that just kind of sneaks up on you and POW! Then nothing. No explanation until he feels the need to give us one. He's smooth and in total control of what he writes.Then we're introduced to the brothers. Jonah is 16 and Simon is 14.
"Our brother fell apart in the war.
Mother fell apart after that.
Then we had to leave."
Jonah vows to take care of Simon, always has. Simon has always resented Jonah for this very reason or because Jonah was trying to take on more of a paternal role than a brotherly role.
Smith describes in detail the destitute situation the boys are left in. They have nothing. Only each other.
Their brother Matthew had been sent to Vietnam to serve in the Army. Their father was in prison.
"Their mother had gone off with one of her men friends for Georgia, or Texas, or someplace, and Simon and Jonah had been left behind, alone in the crumbling shack of a home. The electricity had been gone for days."
They had a destination. They began their journey walking to Arizona to hopefully find Matthew once again. Taking with them the very few items they could carry in a backpack including all of the letters that Matthew had sent to Jonah from Vietnam and a notebook that Jonah would draw in daily.
Never would the brothers believe the road trip from hell they are about to embark on. Accepting a ride from the most beautiful girl on the entire planet, Lilly, and sociopath, Mitch was the worst thing they could have done on this adventure from New Mexico to Arizona to find the rest of their existing family.
There were so many great things about this book. One was the multiple viewpoints. Even though there are multiple viewpoints, the alternating viewpoints are still being told by Jonah. Every now and then you get a sneak peak inside Mitch's head and that is a very disturbing place to be.
Another thing are the letters written from Matthew to Jonah. You could see how his mental state slipped, how hard it must have been for him. The descriptions that Smith gave in the letters were so real...
The letters for me meant a great deal.
Also, the relationship between Jonah and Simon. Obviously, just like brothers they are going to fight and argue, but when you are left with only each other, you're love is stronger than nothing else. Smith really was able to show that blossom - in a manly (boyish) sorta way.
I'm not going to give away the ending and or what happens to any of the characters because I want you to buy the book and read it, so I'm ending my review here. I hope I was able to give this book some of the justice that it deserves.