Eddie's Boy

Fiction - Southern
400 Pages
Reviewed on 03/29/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Eddie’s Boy: A Novel by Robert Schwab is a great story of an accident turned into a blessing, a story of survival, love, family, and human connection. Until his fortieth birthday, Dr. Landon Ratliff had lived a very busy life, devoting his time and energy to work. While elaborate preparations have been made for his fortieth birthday, it will be an unforgettable day, not only for him but also for his family and staff as he gets involved in an accident that changes his life irrevocably. No one will enjoy the wonderful things prepared for his birthday as he is unconscious on a gurney in the emergency department at the Medical University of South Carolina with a breathing tube inserted into his windpipe. What happens to his life and his family, his work, and human connections become the subject of this novel, an inspiring book that will arouse any reader’s emotions, bring tears to their eyes, and consistently warm their hearts in unexpected ways.

The first thing that caught my attention and pulled me in is the author’s gorgeous writing and the ability to paint strong and vivid images. The description of the accident and its aftermath is detailed and it focuses the reader’s gaze on the protagonist, a man who has once been very successful, professional, and organized. He is a real character, genuine and humanly flawed, and readers will easily connect to him, especially after the accident as he begins to depend on others and as his life takes a different direction. It is interesting to observe as he begins to enjoy the time spent with his family and to find meaning in things that have been, before the accident, trivial in his eyes. The novel has passages that are insightful and that will have readers thinking about their priorities and what matters to them. Robert Schwab has written a compelling novel with a strong message, a story with unforgettable characters, enjoyable prose, and intelligent plot points. I found Eddie’s Boy: A Novel to be a purpose-driven narrative with many lessons on life, family, and being human. And a broken and healing protagonist just takes its captivating character a notch higher.

Tammy Ruggles

Eddie's Boy by Robert Schwab is an emotionally compelling Southern drama. When a pivotal moment alters the life of Dr. Landon Ratliff, the world as he knows it ends, and he doesn't know if or how it will ever return. His professional identity is gone, and his closely held private life is revealed. He has no choice but to face his fear, and begin the slow journey of recovery. Not just physical, but familial--something that seemed impossible until now. He and his father haven't been the closest, but a diagnosis of terminal illness calls him back home. His girlfriend Luna plays a part in all of this.

This character-driven novel is the perfect vehicle for exploring human frailty, strength, and the unexpected path of life. This slice-of-life story has something for everyone--a richly layered protagonist, with a broad message of inspiration, courage, and taking chances. A midlife crisis is a catalyst for a cascade of events in the life of Dr. Ratliff, rippling outward to other things and other people in his life. The relationship between the doctor and his girlfriend is interesting and so realistic. You feel as if you're eavesdropping on conversations between your neighbors or friends. Schwab handles plot, characterization, and dialogue with grace and ease--a natural storyteller with amazing insight into human nature, motivations, and choices. His detailed descriptions put you into the heart of every scene. I really like the layers the author brings to the characters and the plot, because it really invests you and makes you care about what happens. Ratliff's journey is painful but touching and full of human insight. Eddie's Boy by Robert Schwab ties together nicely and is a rewarding read that elevates and entertains.

Vincent Dublado

You do not know what will happen to 40-year-old Dr. Landon Ratliff after his car accident. He is told to relax and heal, but relaxing does not come easy for a workaholic like him. What is going on in his mind, and can such tragedy trigger a midlife crisis? The answers are explored in Robert Schwab’s novel, Eddie's Boy. Other than the crash, fate has dealt him a very sick joke, as he is also diagnosed with a terminal illness. As a medical practitioner, he tries to submit to his doctor’s orders, but part of him is unsure if he really wants to. His supportive girlfriend, Luna Quinn, is there for him, but he feels emasculated at the thought that Luna would have to babysit him. Landon’s father, Eddie Ratliff, is dealing with his own terminal illness—a corroded pancreas as a result of alcoholism. As Landon undergoes a process of healing through the help of Luna, he will try to come to terms with his father and realize that healing runs deeper than mere physical injuries.

Eddie’s Boy is not just about midlife crisis, but about the drama that stems from human relationships. The story opens with how Landon is rushed to a hospital after a gruesome accident and explores what is going on in his semi-conscious brain. Schwab’s story deserves more readers. It has prose that is compelling and evocative. You can feel yourself gagging from the intubation that is stuffed in Landon’s throat. Schwab provides the reality of complex relationships but in a way that is redemptive. It becomes a spiritual journey that gives you the reassurance that humanity is not yet a lost cause. Landon’s path toward healing glows as the story moves along. Eddie’s Boy is a story about personal happiness. It becomes a must-read because it weaves a spell over the magic and triumph of getting into middle age.