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Reviewed by Grace Masso for Readers' Favorite
Common Kindred by Isaac M. Lawton is a character-driven story that explores the importance of a supportive community in personal growth and strong themes like purpose, finding meaning, friendship, family, and love. When Joe decides to do what he really wants, he is unaware that the future he has built will quickly slip away. He had a career-launching job, a beautiful girlfriend, and a good apartment to start with. Now unable to find a job, he accepts one as a waiter, and he believes it will only be temporary as he looks for something better. His girlfriend Emily, the woman who has stood by him all along, leaves him. Getting a new job isn’t easy, but something wonderful is also happening as Joe works as a waiter, taking the opportunity to rethink his life. The work environment is great and the company values the employees. Here new friendships burgeon and bloom, colleagues are supportive, and as he begins to connect with characters from diverse backgrounds, he begins to discover his self-worth and potential. And this group of kindred hearts will help him see the leader that he is.
I loved this book, and while the story is entertaining, it offers reflections on social consciousness and what people go through when they have to do what they are not passionate about, driven by pressure from outside and from others. It will be interesting for readers to notice the transformation in Joe as he gradually liberates himself from within, choosing to be himself, thanks to the support he receives from his coworkers. Isaac M. Lawton presents characters from diverse backgrounds, including a refugee, an attorney, an activist, and many others. The characters are well-developed and fleshed out, and I loved the way the author writes about the relationships and Joe’s journey to wholeness, to being able to connect most intimately with himself while building meaningful relationships with others. The writing in this book is gorgeous, and I enjoyed the descriptions. At the lowest point in Joe’s life, he is described as someone who “never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” Common Kindred is a novel that will help readers reflect on their choices and on the impact that others have on their lives. Most importantly, it explores the importance of finding one’s truth and how it can help in both personal and career growth.