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Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

booklore.co.uk
midwestbookreview.com
2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
Librarything.com
Goodreads.com
Bookwormr.com
Books-a-million.com
Reviewcentre.com
Onlinebookclub.org
Pinterest.com
and on Twitter
(seriously)

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Goodnight, Brian

Goodnight, Brian, Steven H. Manchester, 2013, Kindle e-book

Here is a story about one family's journey through life, in the face of some considerable obstacles.

Brian Mauretti is the second child of Jan and Frank Mauretti, residents of Rhode Island. For his first few months, while he is breast-fed, everything is fine. When Jan switches him to a supposedly organic, soy-based, bottle formula, Brian's condition collapses. It starts with constant diarrhea, and inability to sleep, and goes downhill from there. Her pediatrician says not to worry. After six months of this, another pediatrician diagnoses Brian's condition.

The formula maker intentionally removed the salt from the formula, allegedly to make it more healthy. A newborn baby needs certain minerals, including salt, every day. The lack of salt has done major damage to Brian's frontal lobe; he will never be able to walk or talk on his own.

After the tears and anger, Jan's mother, Mama, the family matriarch (as New England Italian as they come), dismisses the bleak diagnosis from the doctor. She tells the family that the number one priority is helping Brian to reach his full potential. Dissent will not be tolerated. It takes several years, but Brian does learn to walk and talk. He thrives in the Rhode Island Special Olympics.

If any of the local kids start teasing Brian, or just look at him the wrong way, Russ, his older brother, has no problem with pounding that person into a bloody pulp. As the years go on, the family experiences the same trials and tribulations that happen in any family. Jan and Frank's marriage does not survive. A daughter of Jan's sister Bev declares that she is gay, while the other daughter marries a black man. Mama takes the news much better than does Bob, Bev's husband. Mama is slowing down, but doesn't tell anyone in the family that she has cancer.

This may sound like a silly cliche, but do whatever is necessary (and legal) to get a copy of this book. If purchasing it is not possible, then ask your library to get a copy. When life gets too difficult, a person sometimes needs an old-fashioned inspirational story about things like love and faith and hope. This is that story.

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