At seventy-five, Henry Maxwell knows he is a lucky man. He’s lived a good life filled with accomplishment and family and kindness, and he knows he should be grateful. But, as time moves on into the 21st Century, Henry finds himself adrift.
Stewart O’Nan’s latest novel, Henry, Himself, is the third in a series about the Maxwell family, and readers of O’Nan will find the same wry observation in this latest installment as in the previous books. The difference is that Henry is alive, whereas in the other books he has already passed away and it is his legacy and life that haunt the pages. Here, in Henry, Himself, the man moves and breathes and thinks and reflects. It isn’t an action-packed book, but it is honest one, and that is perhaps what O’Nan wants us to take away from this portrait of a sort of everyman who questions his future as he reflects on the past.
The book is reminiscent of another novel, Elizabeth Strout’s excellent Olive Kitteridge. Like Olive, Henry’s age keeps him from feeling completely connected to those around him, and the vignettes O’Nan has crafted to reveal this keep the reader feeling as off-kilter at times, as Henry himself does.
|Page Count||384 pages|
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