No Way Back Today

Fiction - Realistic
336 Pages
Reviewed on 11/01/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

No Way Back Today by Eric Shoars is a tale of a midlife crisis. Eric is fast heading for 50 and he still has things he needs to do, things he should have done years before. Not willing to give up on his dreams a second time, Eric tracks down his old friends – Lorelei, Laurel, and Todd – to create No Way Back Today. Four middle-aged people from the Midwest trying to recreate their childhood desires and form a reunion of a band that was never a band to start with, a band that never got off the ground the first time around – can they do it the second time? Join Eric and his friends in a laugh-a-minute story of unfulfilled dreams as midlife comes crashing down on them.

No Way Back Today by Eric Shoars is a hilarious, bittersweet tale of childhood dreams and middle-age. It isn’t just a novel, it’s about not letting go of your dreams, of taking second chances when you get them and of never letting yourself down. The friendships between the four main characters were amazingly developed, an inspiration to us all, and real people that we can all relate to in some way. This story will make you laugh and it will give you hope as it steadily marches towards the end; you will be cheering them on, you will be holding your breath but, most of all, you will be compelled to read to the very end and you will find yourself thinking back on your own dreams, especially the ones that you never realized. Anything is possible if you just put your mind to it. A fun read!

Marta Tandori

Realizing your childhood dream is at the heart of No Way Back Today, a wonderful coming-of-middle-age tale written by Eric Shoars. After several guest engagements speaking to his sister’s ninth, tenth and eleventh graders, Eric, a self-employed marketing consultant, subsequently fixates on the story he told his sister’s students about his own unfulfilled dreams of starting a band with his best friend, Todd, and their friends Lori and Laurie. Facing fifty, Eric is suddenly determined to get his old friends and the band together that his nine-year-old self had dreamed of doing and go out on the road for a reunion tour. The only problem is, they’d never actually formed a band or had any albums or songs – and he’s lost touch with his former friends with the passage of years. With the supportive of his wife, Eric begins putting his plans into action by finding someone overseas to write song lyrics for him, learning how to play the drums and putting together a proposal for corporate sponsorship – all before he’s even found his old friends or sprung his radical plan on them…

No Way Back Today does more than just tug at the heartstrings – it’s a call to readers of a certain age who, like Shoars’ main protagonist, believe that there are more years behind them than in front of them; readers who would give their eye-teeth to realize their childhood dreams before everyday life, and all the responsibilities it entails, had them in its grip. The premise of the story is hugely appealing because very few have the opportunity or moxie in middle age to do what Eric has done by bringing his childhood friends together and creating their band, Onions at a Crime Scene. Shoars’ story is an emotional roller coaster, to be sure. It highlights in some cases how life can sometimes deal an unfortunate hand to some and bless others with a charmed existence. The narrative is eloquent and laced with humor, while the dialogue rings sincerely. Shoars is nevertheless quick to remind us that while it’s wonderful to reconnect with childhood friends, the adult versions sometimes come with emotional baggage, wounded by the hardships that life has imposed on them. They also come with wives and husbands and responsibilities. No Way Back Today is a great story that is sure to inspire and tug at the heartstrings while appealing to a certain demographic. However, it also casts a wider readership net by its message of not being afraid to follow your dream, no matter your age.

Sherri Fulmer Moorer

Eric has a serious wake-up call when he speaks to his sister's high school class about telling stories. In the presentation, he reveals how he had a dream of starting a band with four classmates - Todd, Laurel, and Lorelei - but the dream was squashed by a teacher who told him that he didn't have what it takes to be a musician. Eric spends a sleepless night pondering the effect of that long-ago opinion, combined with his upcoming fiftieth birthday, and soon thereafter is offered free drum lessons from one of the students inspired by his talk. He soon realizes that it's never too late to take up a dream and decides not only to take up the student on the drum lessons but to reach out to his former friends about reuniting their "band that never was" on social media. What follows is a whirlwind experience through the trials and tribulations of a new undertaking in mid-life in No Way Back Today by Eric Shoars.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a compelling novel not only about second chances and pursuing your dreams but about friendship and self-worth as you move through different stages of life. I'm a bit younger than the protagonists but so much of what they felt resonated with me as I found myself wondering if there are any dreams from my youth that might be worth pursuing as I enter mid-life myself. The evolution of the relationships with Eric, Todd, Laurel, and Lorelei was amazing and inspiring and shows that friendship can remain no matter how much life changes. It also seemed to me that they "bonded" and their relationships matured as they shared their experiences and as new opportunities arose for each of them as a result of pursuing this dream. No Way Back Today is an excellent novel of inspiring redemption and shows that mid-life doesn't have to be a crisis at all - in fact, it can rock! Great work, Eric Shoars! I loved this novel!