Take the Lively Air
by Mick Bennett
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Pub Date 26 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 02 Jan 2024
Mindbuck Media, Unsolicited Press
When Riley Walker takes his Firecracker Red Jeep Wrangler for a drive on a Jersey Shore May morning, he has no idea that he’s about to collide with a honking pickup sporting a timber rattler warning DON’T TREAD ON ME. The crash leaves the drivers bleeding and hospitalized, and a gun-toting relative eager for revenge. Riley, girlfriend Molly, and her adopted grandson Klyde already have heartaches aplenty when their personal pain collides with America’s toxic cultural climate.
Take the Lively Air is a tale of yesterday’s ghosts, today’s troubles, and the search for a promising future.
"Take the Lively Air is a powerful tale of overlapping lives, the intersection of past and present, and ghosts who reside all too easily in the hearts of the living. In the course of a single day, strangers become both friends and enemies. Mistakes made, lingering doubts, and relentless remorse weave through the narrative like a ragged strand of missed opportunities and chances. Set against the glorious backdrop of the New Jersey coast, one man confronts devastating loss by offering comfort to those he may have wronged in a minor traffic accident whose consequences are both unforeseen and deeply painful. Bennett gives us a fine novel that shows how compassion triumphs over rage, and kindness always saves the day.
— Anne Leigh Parrish, author of an open door
"Take the Lively Air is a thoughtful and realistic portrait of modern families. Bennett is unafraid to take on tough and touchy subjects with empathy and honesty. With prose as vibrant as its New Jersey beach setting, the simmering tension will have readers flipping pages. More than a family drama, it's an examination of the complexities of excavating buried grief and regret, and a map for how to move forward."
— Meagan Lucas, author Songbirds and Stray Dogs, and Editor-in-Chief of Reckon Review
“Crafted with just the right details, understated humor, and empathy, Take the Lively Air is a simple yet startling novel. Out of a single incident—two headstrong men colliding their cars in a seaside New Jersey town—emerges a universe of multilayered characters and interconnected truths. Mr. Bennett reminds us that everybody has a story, and that some of those stories lead to healing.”
— Jay Kristensen Jr, author
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 5 members
Take the Lively Air
by Mick Bennett
This book shows so many parts of right and wrong. And as I see it, the good and compassion win.
Well developed characters and interesting story. Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book
It only takes one action, one event, to change a life. Take the Lively Air is a moving piece of fiction. This book showcases what humans are capable of, both good and bad, while also illuminating the healing nature of compassion. The characters are relatable and realistic. The descriptive narration draws the reader in. A poignant example of humanity today.
Let’s start with the characters. While the cast of characters is large, how they intersect with each other is what makes this book so good. These characters are relatable on so many levels. What they go through and the fallout from their actions left an impression on me. The emotion felt while reading makes a huge impact.
The descriptive narration is so well done, it was easy to transport into the story. Every scene, every character, every emotion is detailed. There’s a gritty, stark nature to the narration which takes on an almost documentary-style. I enjoyed it immensely.
The writing is brilliant in so many ways. Detailing the ins and outs of humanity while avoiding sounding preachy takes restraint and Mick Bennett nails it. Using classic lit techniques, the author lets the story unfold in a natural way. The tension is high as are the stakes. The reader is left to decide what it all means and that is what makes Take the Lively Air so powerful. An unforgettable book worth reading.
I received a digital ARC from Mindbuck Media through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
I did enjoy this story. It took place over one day, and showed how one person’s decisions can impact those around them. I did feel that the story often became confusing. I kept having to go back and re-read sections to clarify who was speaking, I do not know if that had more to do with the editing since I read an ARC.
Take the lively air starts with a formal introduction to our protagonist Riley Walker's musings about his own life. We are introduced to other characters like his girlfriend Molly and her grandson Klyde and what is currently happening in their life until it takes a turn around for worse when an accident happens.
When people are faced with wrong and right, what do they choose? Easy but wrong way or difficult but right way?
This book raises so many questions that it makes you think. Overall a good book.
Thank you Netgalley and mindbuck media for the ARC in exchange of an honest review.