Monday, October 05, 2009

Author Jeffrey Barbieri to Join Podcast This Friday

Please plan to tune into our podcast this Friday when Writers in the Sky team member Sarah Moore will be joined by author Jeffrey Barbieri. Jeffrey will be discussing his new release Let's Find You, which is a coming-of-age novel that offers the unique feature of combining prose and poetry. Readers of Let's Find You will discover chapters that each read like a short story and share tales of sibling rivalry, first loves, absent parents, and adolescent insecurities.

Please visit the Amazon website to purchase Let's Find You. You can learn more about Jeffrey Barbieri by visiting his website.

Title of Document: Book Review
Book Title: Let’s Find You
Author: Jeffrey D. Barbieri
ISBN: 978-1-4327-4365-9
Genre and Target Market: fiction; family relationships; coming-of-age
Publication Date: 2009
Book Length in Pages: 207

As someone who works in the writing and publishing industry, I am asked to read books by new authors nearly every day. While I am thrilled when anyone makes the decision to express themselves through the written word, I sometimes am left wondering why a writer felt the product they handed me was ready for public consumption. The message is jumbled and the mechanics are messy. Other times, the writing may be admirable but the author is simply rehashing a literary approach that has already been done. While imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery, it does not get me excited about a new author’s work. However, there are those instances in which I am presented with a book that captures me from the first page and has me reach the last sentence with an eagerness to share my discovery with others. Such is the case with the new release Let’s Find You by Jeffrey Barbieri.

Let’s Find You offers its readers the first-person account of Benjamin, a boy who shares both trivial and life-changing moments of his life through the pages of the novel. The book is divided into chapters that each read like a short story, but also come together seamlessly to provide an emotional depiction of Benjamin’s life from the time that he is a young boy through the point that he is on the verge of manhood.

While many of the stories that Barbieri shares through the perspective of his character Benjamin are light-hearted and remind us all of incidents from our own childhoods (playing pranks on our siblings, spending hours dreaming about our first love), the undercurrent of Let’s Find You is heart-wrenching. There were instances in this book during which I felt a kick in my gut, and that is a testament to powerful writing. Benjamin must face life with no father, an emotionally absent mother who moves frequently in order to avoid this absent dad, and no one with whom he can share the difficult insecurities of adolescence. Although it sounds a bit clique, the statement holds true in this instance – you will laugh, you will cry.

One unique feature of Let’s Find You is the integration of poetry throughout the novel. It seems that Barbieri uses these pauses to let us into an even deeper level of Benjamin’s emotions. For example, when a tragic moment involving a family member happens right in front of his eyes, Benjamin wonders why there is a ridiculous need in his home to remain strong and show no emotion. Readers then find the following: “The storms that surround me/Block me in,/Seeking some shelter/Dying within.” After that interlude, we move right back into the storyline. Most of Barbieri’s poetic offerings are quite short, and therefore offer the perfectly succinct summation of his character’s thoughts and fears at any particular moment. I loved this component of the novel.

If you are interested in reading a novel that beautifully captures difficult emotions and also offers amusing anecdotes to which any of us with siblings can relate, I highly recommend that you find yourself a copy of Let’s Find You. This book is the first offering by new author Jeffrey Barbieri, and I look forward to the promise of future novels in the series.

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