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Reviewed by Tiffany Ferrell for Readers' Favorite
The Paradise isn’t a fancy place to eat, but it’s popular with the neighboring folks. Many different people come to this dining establishment and each has their own story. Banner is an army veteran who served this country and as a result, suffers from PTSD while Art is an academic who worked hard to get the degree he currently holds. After many years he feels that his education is for nothing; he feels incomplete, yet he tells Banner that he is a fighter and has so many struggles to overcome. Art finds himself mesmerized and hanging onto Banner’s every word as he’s describing the things he has done in Vietnam. The more intense Banner’s stories are, the more invested Art is. As someone who has had to lie about many things, it’s thrilling to hear. The two swap secrets that they have shared with no one else as they figure out where to go from there.
I enjoyed the setup of The Paradise. An iconic diner with two men sharing their stories and insecurities with one another. Both Art and Banner are amazing characters with unique backgrounds. I always find myself interested in hearing the stories of those who fought in Vietnam. Unlike veterans from World War II, those who fought in Vietnam hardly ever received the recognition they deserve and that much is obvious when you hear Banner’s tale from his point of view. I just love how day after day the two meet for breakfast and reach down deep into their souls to one another and confess all their issues. Michael Sedloff’s writing style is unique and keeps your attention as you read about these two main characters and their pasts as well as the people who shaped the people they have become. Michael Sedloff has done a wonderful job with this book. I look forward to reading more of his work in the future.