Possibilities. Part of the natural order is that all things come to an end. Whether we like the idea or not, each of us will one day die. Ron Currie, Jr.’s new novel, Everything Matters!, explores the theme that we face an infinite number of choices in life, and those choices become connected with others, and have consequences that make a real difference, hence the title. Protagonist Junior Thibodeau hears voices and has precognition from infancy. He dreams with clarity and specificity that Earth will be destroyed by a comet on June 15, 2010. Junior’s considerable intelligence leads him in one set of choices to save the world. Along the way he realizes that there is no way to avoid the tragedies of living: both the good and the bad matter. Deliverance or salvation comes from living, not from avoiding life. We will all die, most of us just don’t know the date, so why would knowing the date make a difference in how we choose to live? Junior chooses another possible set of choices, and that approach to life also has consequences, both good and bad. Everything Matters! could be considered a philosophical novel and would provide for lively discussion by any book club. Junior could be compared to Jesus, and the ensuing “what would Jesus do?” conversation would be animated. Currie’s characters are thoughtfully constructed, and his prose includes fine dialogue, vivid descriptions and remarkable creativity. Everything Matters! is a joy to read, and left me thinking and reflecting long after I turned the last page.
Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)