You Can See More From Up Here

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

I don't believe this will be a great title for me. I have experience with similar situations, and fear my beliefs/history would taint the story too much. Not for me.
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A really fine debut novel, I enjoyed it. Difficult family dynamics, long kept secrets and a young first love are revealed in this well-written novel. A middle-aged man is going to see his estranged father for the first time in years, after the father is injured in a car wreck and hospitalized, and the memories of a tragic event from 1974 finally get aired. The story was believable and felt authentic, bittersweet. I liked this one.
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This is a very powerful read. Emotion drips from every page. Walter Mcguire’s Dad was once a formidable character. He was a successful,  driven, accomplished doctor in the military before he was unceremoniously expelled which lead to
him working in an automotive plant in Illinois after his from grace. He turned to alcohol for solace and is now in a coma, with the expectation of death after a car accident. His son Walter suffered greatly at the hands of his father. He has visited him in hospital and begins his journey of introspection as he strives to pen his memoir. Many memories were buried for a reason, such is the heart wrenching nature of so many incident in his life. As he continues memories surface and many are not pleasant. We see times when in order to do the right thing he had to stand up again his father, in an already strained relationship. This book is full if compassion and highlights excellently the struggles that can exist within families. It was a great read.
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I was captured by Mark Guerin's You Can See More From Up Here from the first sentence. The relationships in reporter Walker McGuire’s life are gradually amped up in an engaging way as is the suspense. The reader has ample opportunity to bond with each character as they are well-delineated. The prose is superbly written. In 1974, when Walker was 19, he returned home from his first year of college for the summer to work in the assembly line of an automobile manufacturing plant. The events of that summer haunt him until he returns to Belford, Illinois, thirty years later. Because of that summer, he’s been in self-imposed exile, only rarely visiting his family. Now, his father is in a coma after having had an automobile accident. Walker is looking for answers that his father never gave in the past and is now unable to give. This book shows the long-lasting fall-out from toxic relationships, alcoholism, and child abuse, yet the villains are as finely drawn as the protagonist, Walker. Guerin unpeels the American psyche like an onion, exposing race relations, and immigration (legal and illegal), class and socioeconomic differences that, unfortunately, still exist. He also seamlessly weaves together the past and the present with an astonishing twist the ties everything together.
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This one just wasn’t my cup of tea. Interesting ideas sitting in here but the plot just didn’t propel the story for me.
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When you read a family drama, you want to be taken on a journey. Since there’s typically not a lot of action, you want to be sold on the plot, on the direction and the feel of the characters’ environment. You Can See up from Here does just that. 
It takes you on a journey through the life of Walker Maguire and his relationship with his father. It starts off with him going home due to his father being in the hospital. Throughout the story, he reminisces on the not-so-pleasant moments of his childhood and tries to pinpoint when his relationship with his dad not only went wrong but he never recovered from ;moments that drew him even further away from his father than he already was. 

This story kept my attention for the most part. There were times throughout the story that I was just ready to know the mystery behind the Camarasa family so it seemed like the story was dragging. Overall, I enjoyed the story and think others who enjoy a good family drama novel will enjoy it as well.
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Mark Guerin’s debut novel, YOU CAN SEE MORE FROM UP HERE, is a coming-of-age story dealing with themes of immigration, racism, socioeconomic disparity, and more. For the most part, the entire plot revolves around Walker Maguire’s summer when working at the car factory where his father also works as the plant physician. While at the factory, Walker witnesses an event between two employees that places him in an ethical dilemma, which comes to alter his perception of his father and impacts the course of his life, even into adulthood. Told in the form of flashbacks written by Walker himself, the novel bounces between the past and the present as it weaves the two time frames together. 

Guerin’s prose is well done, and I enjoyed his writing style. With that said, the story itself fell short for me. The central conflict at the heart of the novel just didn’t feel weighty enough to support a 400 plus page novel, and there was also a sense of the plot circling around this crux without moving forward. Because of this, I felt the momentum of the story stalled quickly. If the novel were trimmed by at least 100 pages and the ante upped some when it comes to the central conflict, I think YOU CAN SEE MORE FROM UP HERE would move toward a 4-star read for me. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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***Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a free ARC in exchange for an honest review!***

I'm very very sorry. I tried as hard as I could to get through this book, but every day that I was going to sit down and read it, I just started absolutely dreading it. The pace was incredibly slow and it felt like the story was going nowhere.

I genuinely think that this book would be great for some people, (people who like character studies or more slowly paced books) but unfortunately, it was not for me. 

When it comes to the question of whether or not I would recommend this to others, it would really depend on what kinds of books you're into. I wouldn't just completely write it off. But if you like the kinds of books that I normally like (quick paced with lots of engaging story), then, unfortunately, it's not for you.
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