Review by Linda P. Benitez
You don’t have to be a rock star or save the planet to find deep meaning and value in living what author, Paul Woodis, calls “the odd life of no one in particular.” In this profoundly detailed life story, we are given a fresh reminder that our personal experiences are significant; we matter. What an important message this is for our time when so many people struggle with feelings of unworthiness and depression, especially when there has been abuse and trauma in childhood.
It is noted in his book that some, unfortunately, blame their rough childhood for all that goes wrong in life. Paul shows us that although the journey of life is not straight and often doesn’t go where we intended, still, setbacks and all, choice-by-choice, life is good. “The Odd Life of No One In Particular” is a brilliant tribute to the truth that, despite our painful beginnings in life, there is much wisdom, joy, and even humor to be gained as life unfolds.
I like the way the chapter titles speak of Paul’s uncontrived honesty. Chapter titles like:
“A Car, Rachel, Izzy and Sex,” “Attempted Bribes and Mom Shacks Up,” “Diazepam and Gin,” and “That’s Not Mud You’re Going to Land In,” make the underlying tone of this book genuine and relatable.
Like many readers, I love a surprise ending. After describing the turbulent storms of abuse and heartbreaking injustices, the story concludes with Shawn, (the main character) finding, for the first time in his life, true love. His beloved teaches him how to have fun, how to enjoy life, and how to let go of the past. She shows him the kind of love that heals, supports, and nourishes his heart.
Because of health issues later in life, Shawn is left with his personal fate being fragile and uncertain, often shifting suddenly like the waves of the sea. But Shawn knows now that love is the raft that will carry him through.
This non-fiction novel was written by Paul Woodis, who resides in Brooksville, Florida with his wife Diann. He has won two “People’s Choice” awards. With the publishing of this, his first novel, Paul hopes to inspire others to live a life of hope and love. “The Odd Life of No One In Particular” was published by Austin Macauley of London, England, and is available online, as well as in bookstores. E-mail Paul Woodis at: [email protected]