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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
The Not So Secret Diary of a Pawnbroker by Elliot Stanton is a humorous, fictionalized tale based on a true story of a pawnbroker living in East London. A middle-aged family man, Pete Dawson is unaware that he could be going through what is commonly known as a mid-life crisis. His life has become a bit tedious and routine, but maybe his young co-worker, Sabrina, who he fancies, can turn things around. Told in journal form, we get inside Pete's life, head, and heart in an intimate way, and meet some offbeat characters and customers that he interacts with.
Pete comes off as a real person right away. Typical of some mid-lifers, he noticed changes to his body and appearance that are definitely the signs of aging. He began keeping a diary at the suggestion of his therapist and through the entries, we get to know Pete, his work, customers, family, and everyday life. Any slice of life story is unique. No two are alike, and that's what makes them special, but Pete's story stands out because it rings so true for many of us. The quirky customers he encounters on a daily basis will be relatable, and his categorization of them. It's as if Pete picked up a camera and is showing us snapshots and soundbites of his life through diary entries. Sabrina entering the picture spices things up a bit, and you wonder what will happen with them, but I shan't spoil it here. Some books that try to be comical often fall flat, but this one doesn't.
Stanton has crafted a poignant portrait with laugh-out-loud moments, and some sweet ones too. I especially like how the author describes himself, his idiosyncrasies, and his outlook, and uses songs to punctuate his life moments--don't we all have a soundtrack to our lives? The Not So Secret Diary of a Pawnbroker by Elliot Stanton is an entertaining, touching work you don't want to pass up.