Synopsis: Twenty-five years after his high school graduation, David Halpert returns to a place that most people flee. But David is making his own escape—from his divorce and the death of his son. In Detroit, David learns about the double shooting of his high school girlfriend Natalie and her black half-brother, Dirk. As David becomes involved with Natalie’s sister, he will discover that both he and his hometown have reasons to hope.
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know I sometimes choose books to read for shallow reasons. Well, now you can add “catchy titles” to “pretty covers” and “length.” Say Nice Things About Detroit (★★★★) is a great title. Thank God it’s the title of a great book. Though, I’m having difficulty pinpointing why I think it’s a great book. The story is interesting, but predictable in the way all books with a limited number of characters are. Characters don’t change, only their circumstances. The reader knows the whole story of the “mystery” but the characters never do. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed the book. It was realistic. Most people don’t have the life altering personality changes so popular in entertainment, nor do people ever know the whole story of other people’s lives. The ending was a little pat but satisfying because I liked the characters.
Again, I chose a book that said a lot with very little words. (I’m sensing a trend here.) An author who developed believable characters acting in believable ways. What better place to set a story of people rebuilding their lives than a crumbling city? And, damn if Lasser didn’t make me want to visit Detroit. I kinda want to buy this t-shirt. He almost made me want to move there, to buy an undervalued house in a black neighborhood, put down roots and say, “We can make this work!” But, not quite. Lasser is good, but he isn’t a miracle worker.