12.26.2006

HH Com 424

Landon Grey wakes up one morning, at the age of twenty-two, a college dropout, widower and single father. Even without a plan for his future, he’s sure this isn’t it.

Only problem? This is it.

His aloof wife has just died in a car accident, her high school sweetheart dead in the passenger seat beside her. And his pudgy, two-year old Elmo loving, juice guzzling daughter Sadie tugs at his pajamas as he hides under the covers, willing his life to be something else. Anything else.

He looks to his wife for help, only to remember they’ve left her at the funeral home.

While his mother threatens to suffocate him with a mixture of concern and overly enthusiastic hugs and his distant in-laws make demands on his time for the next sixteen years, an unexpected encounter with a support group full of women old enough to be his grandmothers propels a reluctant Landon on a different path. With the help of an odd girl who claims to be a support group junkie, Landon is forced to leap over a new and welcome set of emotional hurdles on his way to becoming the father and man he needs to be.

"support group junkie"?? you can't ever use that and not hope for comparisons to Chuck Palahniuk.

you've got no specifics here, nothing that makes me think "oh I want to find out what happens next". Landon sounds like a self involved putz, so I hope he's at least funny.

Focus.

6 comments:

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Well, you've got a good predicament here: a very young man dealing with raising a toddler on his own, with the grief of losing his wife, and of losing her under those circumstances. Needy little Sadie and his mother are evocatively described. And I like the concept of the unexpectedly helpful wisdom of the grandmother-aged women. I'd read this.

Southern Writer said...

I would, too. It reminds me a little of The Accidental Tourist.

aries said...

I, too, liked this hook but for the premise than the actual hook itself. Instead of so many character details ("aloof wife" and "pudgy, two-year old Elmo loving, juice guzzling daughter"), the author should spend more time talking about the specific difficulties Landon has in adjusting to life after his wife's death. Does he feel guilt over their relationship? How does he balance the help he obviously needs from his mother with the feelings of suffocation? As with any novel that is more character driven instead of plot driven, the writing is going to be excellent which means it will have to be a lot more specific than it is in this hook.

sparrowlegs said...

I was fortunate enough to be on the short-list of those chosen to proof read the manuscript for this book. I loved it. Iris, the “support group junkie”, was my favorite character. When I was finished reading, I missed her. Weird.

The author has created a book full of hilarious fast-moving dialog and endearing characters.

Unfortunately the author sucks at writing a hook. That said, I think writing a hook for a slice-of-life book is more difficult than writing a hook for a book that is more plot-driven.

Anonymous said...

It might be tough to write a hook for this, but maybe start with something that doesn't have me pining to re-watch "Kramer vs. Kramer" instead of reading pages.

And an easy fix would be all the characteristics attributed to Sadie (not one makes her stand out from any other two-year-old, and that's a problem; it makes me believe the writing will be equally flabby).

Glad to hear the book's a winner. Maybe the author could have some of his/her fans write the hook instead?

Anonymous said...

As the author, I'd like to thank those who offered comment on the hook. I, like many, learned so much after posting my hook. I've since begun in earnest to work on a hook that describes why you should read this novel.

As for the comparison to Kramer V. Kramer, I have to say I'm confused. While I realize the hook isn't the best, I'm not sure what information would lead anyone to believe the book was about a divorced middle aged couple fighting over custody of their son...perhaps you meant tone?