Reviewed By Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite
5th&Hope by Nathaniel Sewell is a beautiful novel of self discovery, appreciating your roots, and learning that the past can always surprise you. Sometimes novels have the ability to move you beyond words, and Nathaniel Sewell’s writing style and his storytelling have done that for me. I loved the character development and I loved the way the plot flowed so smoothly.
The story follows Bobby, a man who goes back to Kentucky to bury his mother. Even though it had been years since he last saw his mother, the death still hit him hard. Going back to the place where he only has bad memories is not easy, but he goes anyway. On arriving there, his wife discovers an old diary that belonged to his grandfather. So, Bobby starts reading it and the more he reads, the more he realizes that his grandfather lived a rather colorful life in California during the Depression. Wanting to relive the adventures and moments, he decides to revisit some of his grandfather’s favorite places. He has only one hope from this: chasing his own demons as he chases his grandfather’s life.
This is a brilliant book. I was so engrossed in the story that I literally forgot the time. Bobby was haunted by his past demons and he was fighting to get rid of them. Going to the places that his grandfather frequented was a cleanser for him. He felt connected and that made him appear more human and believable. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I definitely know that I will be reaching for it again soon.
Reviewed By Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite
5th&Hope by Nathaniel Sewell is a riveting novel that explores family and social issues, a story about identity and relationships. Bobby has neither seen nor spoken to his mother for decades now. But a phone conversation with his sister has just confirmed the news he has waited for — the death of his mother. Now, he will have to leave his wonderful home in California and make the long journey back to the mountains of Kentucky, a place that holds his early memories. The diaries of his grandfather (discovered by his wife, Rebecca) lure him into an adventure that he never saw coming. Intrigued by his grandfather’s words, and haunted by the need to reconnect with his deepest yearnings, he sets out driving through Route 66, a difficult journey that could well bring him to his roots.
The story is told in the first person and the reader is irresistibly drawn into the world of the protagonist, a man who sounds like a loner, barely connected with others. From the very beginning, the reader gets the strong feeling that Bobby could be inwardly troubled, a man who doesn’t want to confront his past, and who has been running from it for a long time. But the death of his mother compels him to make the journey that could reconcile him to himself. Readers will enjoy the relationship between Bobby and his sister. About his sister, he says: “I wasn’t sure what love meant, but I had a vague notion because of her and our maternal grandparents.” 5th&Hope is well-written and readers will love the author’s handling of the setting and the vivid images he feeds into the minds of readers. Nathaniel Sewell is a great storyteller and I loved his characters and his ability to keep the reader gripped by the plot. A very delightful read!