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Reviewed by Anelynde Smit for Readers' Favorite
A Coward’s Guide To Living by Bruce Meisterman is an emotional journey that will make you feel things like never before. Our story follows Jacob Will and the death of his best friend Farrel ‘Farry’ Poland. On the day of the funeral, Jacob is handed a letter, dictating that he must die eleven little deaths of his own to become a better person. As Farry put it “in order for you to completely understand something, you’ve got to give yourself over to it completely”. With the help of Reverend Rose, Jacob sets out on a journey not to see anything in particular, but everything in general. This leads Jacob to travel across America, running into the most colorful characters that you can expect from such a journey. On the road, he copes with grief, loss, and getting to know himself. The blinders come off and he is stunned by what he finds. One tattoo, a drug-fueled evening, and heartbreak later, Jacob finds out what it really means to live to the best of his abilities.
A Coward’s Guide To Living by Bruce Meisterman is a very precious novel. Not only can you relate to the characters and feel what they feel, but you could also -- with the help of details -- see what he saw. I loved the detail in this book and I loved the way it made me feel. When Jacob was caught in a bad situation, you could feel your skin crawl. The author is very good at expressing emotions. It was very believable and struck a chord with me. This story is one I think anyone who has experienced loss will appreciate. The people he meets on his travels are those unlikely souls that come out of the pages and into your life. The encounter with the homeless man Wade was very moving, with both suffering from loss and both dealing with it in completely separate ways. I highly recommend this book to anyone in search of a good story. This story makes you laugh and cry and feel like you’ve never felt before. This book is not to be missed.