Ah, Sweet Life

Fiction - Realistic
672 Pages
Reviewed on 04/29/2015
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite

Ah, Sweet Life by E. Adrian Dzahn is an extremely moving, beautifully written fictional story about a woman named Andrea Gabe, or Andy. Written in the first person narrative, Andy recounts her childhood and the instability that accompanied it, including sexual abuse and rape by her step-brother. Growing up, she is extremely close to her father, Dean. However, her parents separate while she is still young and for the rest of her life she only sees him intermittently and often unexpectedly. Still, he remains a major driving force in her life until his death in an accident shortly after being diagnosed with Huntington’s disease. As Andy grows up, she realizes she is gay, and the accompanying struggles of teenage years sometimes become more challenging as a lesbian in an often biased society. The rest of the novel follows Andy’s life as she becomes active in Chicago’s Gay Liberation movement, drifts around in the Midwest and East coast in Wisconsin and Boston, and finally ends up in the Pacific Northwest in Washington.

Ah, Sweet Life by E. Adrian Dzahn is essentially a story about one person’s life, love, relationships, the prejudices that still exist in society based on a person’s race or sexual orientation, and ultimate life choices. It is a beautifully written book that kept me interested and involved throughout the entire reading, and left me wanting to know more. All of the characters in the book are well drawn and it is especially easy to empathize with and relate to Andy and Dean. I loved this book and it is to be hoped that books such as these will pave the way toward a more peaceful, accepting society: a society that does not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. and treats everyone as equal.

Kathryn Bennett

Ah, Sweet life by E. Adrian Dzahn introduces us to Andy Gabe who has not had a very great life. Her parents divorced when she was ten, and she stopped seeing her father as much as she wanted as a daddy's girl. Then the one who was her first love left her and her brother decided to prey on her. Despite all of this, she has a love of life and enjoys moving about freely on her own like a gypsy. This life as a free spirit has taken her all over, from Chicago to a commune in Wisconsin, and through on to Boston. While she moves around, she fights with her past, even when some of it catches up with her and forces her to make a choice that will affect the rest of her life.

This was a book I was able to dive into and feel a connection with right away. I had a lot of similar things happen to me in life as Andy did. The connection you feel with the main character will keep you invested as you travel through this book and through the struggles Andy has in life ... struggles we all have. This is a book that you can truly relate to because it is a book of life and struggles. Even though Andy is lesbian, it doesn't matter because we all have the same problems in life. We have ups and downs, death, illness and heartbreak. Author E. Adrian Dzahn writes a well flowing story that is just about life. A simple well written story that could really be anyone's life, yet it makes you feel connected. I would recommend this as your next read.

Rabia Tanveer

Ah, Sweet Life by E. Adrian Dzahn is the captivating story of Andy Gabe. Andy came to accept her uniqueness very early in life. When her parents divorced when she was ten, Andy not only lost her adored father, but also a very close person who used to be her protector and her friend. Her life took a tragic turn when her mother remarried and she became a prey to her half-brother’s lust. When the time came, she left home to embrace her true self and explore the world that was full of possibilities. She went from being a daughter to a homeless person; she joined the Gay Liberation movement in Chicago, lived in a bustling port, lived the hard life on the streets, and even experienced life on a farm. Through it all, Andy found her sexuality, true friends, and even love. But not everything was good in her life. Her heritage was hanging over her head; she had to make a decision that might just break her heart and disappoint people who meant the world to her.

E. Adrian Dzahn did a great job with Ah, Sweet Life. She took a very sensitive protagonist, a lesbian, and showed how a vulnerable person can be stronger than all of us combined. Although the novel is basically not an LGBT novel, the struggles and emotional upheaval of a gay person are shown beautifully. Such works of fiction make us appreciate the LGBT community more. This was a really great novel that went into the heart of the matter on every level and made you appreciate life more. I really loved the emotion and the vulnerability portrayed by Andy. A really amazing and fascinating novel.