Too Nice a Guy?

Too Nice a Guy?


Fiction - General
111 Pages
Reviewed on 04/09/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Too Nice a Guy? is a contemporary fiction novel written by Keith David Harris. Kevin Whidbey’s life hadn’t turned out exactly how he had hoped it would. He had married the gorgeous girl he fell in love with, graduated from law school, passed the bar and gotten a position as an attorney. They had two children that he was crazy about. And though those things alone might have been sufficient for many, Kevin knew something was missing. There was the multi-million dollar house that they really couldn’t afford, but that his wife, Jessica, had insisted upon. Her reluctance to return to work made keeping up with those payments even more daunting a prospect than it had seemed at first. Jessica’s answer to the money crunch was to subject him to an endless round of social evenings of networking as part of her ambitious strategy to get him a better paying job. She didn’t seem to understand, or care, that he might actually like his job or want to spend some of those evenings at home, spending time with their son and daughter. Instead, he found himself driving an endless succession of babysitters home after they spent time with his kids, and he had suffered through yet another social gathering. His college friend, Lisa, who had actually introduced the two of them, knew there were problems but found it impossible to get through to Jessica. It took two sisters, Miriam and Tammy Connors, who Kevin came to know through their babysitting, to help Kevin realize that he was desperately unhappy with his home life. Seeing how the five orphaned Connors children loved and supported each other as a family made his own life seem empty in comparison.

Keith David Harris’s contemporary fiction novel, Too Nice a Guy?, is an engaging and thought-provoking tale about family, values and cultural identities. As I read this well-written tale, I quickly found myself sympathetic to Kevin’s woes, especially when he is forced to stop his abrasive wife from getting a young waitress fired over a simple mistake. Jessica’s attitude, her screaming at the children, and endless conniving to make Kevin enter a bigger earnings bracket pose such marked contrasts to the simple wisdom of the two elder Connor girls. Harris does a superb job of building the tension in this tale which revolves around these very different characters and the contrasts between the lives of the Whidbeys and the Connors. I came to care about all of the characters Harris creates, even just a little for the awful Jessica, and enjoyed reading this story about life and second chances. Too Nice a Guy? is highly recommended.

Ruffina Oserio

Too Nice a Guy? by Keith David Harris is a novel that explores the secrets within two families, a story with very interesting characters and unusual dynamics. The novel talks in a very unique way about the importance of family and how far some people will go to protect a family’s image. The reader is introduced to two families in this story: the Whidbeys and the Connors. These two families are not what people may think they are — well-to-do and settled. They live through dynamics of tension and they have different values, but there is something that keeps them together. What is it?

Keith David Harris’s novel will remind readers of the problems, the joys and fears of many families. It reminded me a lot of my own family and it is wonderful to see how the author can give life to the mundane things that take place in the lives of ordinary people. The opening is very intriguing, filled with beautiful descriptions of one of the characters, and such descriptions are spread through the novel. The young babysitter who always finds a way “to slump” and has a “vacuous look on her face” is a picture that the reader begins with, and the idea that many things could go wrong in the story registers strongly in the reader’s mind. Keith David Harris’s prose is excellent and readers will enjoy the powerful images it evokes and the conversations that are created to read naturally. I loved the characters and the way they evolve in the story. The plot is carefully woven and it evolves around the inner, inevitable conflicts in a family, featuring themes like love, friendship, romance, and of course, babysitting. Through a masterful use of humor and the author’s gift for narrative, readers will find great entertainment in Too Nice a Guy?