This is the story of John (the dad) and Ethan (the son) as they embark on a road trip to their daughter/sister Karen’s wedding across America.
It’s no ordinary road-trip because Ethan is no ordinary child. He has profound difficulties which are tragic yet provide moments of darkly black humour. Accompanied by three teddy bears – hence the picture – which keep Ethan amused and Jim sane, this road trip showcases the reality of life with Ethan.
The relationships between John and his estranged wife (ex?), his daughters and with Ethan all have their fragilities and stresses and strains. The bears provide amusement whilst illustrating their inner thoughts. I particularly enjoyed Stinky Bear’s solos – as did Ethan, who requests them over and over again.
Whilst I found it hard going at times, I reflected that so is life with Ethan.
A darkly comic tale yet twinged with sadness – from Karen’s wedding to Mindy’s humour – and to Mary and john’s relationship. Well worth a read for the insight into life with a profoundly challenged child. Makes me even more in awe of my friends with similar children.
MetLineReader Rating Thought-provoking, sad, frustrating yet ultimately uplifting hence 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ( or should that be 🚐🚐🚐🚐)
About this book
Meet John Nichols. He’s 50-something years old, an ex-basketball player, ex-author, ex-philanderer, ex-husband, ex-high school English teacher. And he’s father to three: two overachieving adult daughters, and 19 year-old Ethan, who will never be an adult. John’s oldest daughter is getting married, and as the whole family travels from their homes in New York and the Chicago area, John is secretly preparing for a life-change that will alter his family’s hearts forever.
In this laugh-out-loud, heartbreaking, generous family novel, Jim Kokoris returns to the heartfelt writing of The Rich Part of Life. It’s Nice Outside explores that universal tension between being a parent and keeping true to yourself.
I received an advance review copy from the publisher, St Martin’s Press in exchange for a fair and honest review. It’s. Nice. Outside. is available from Amazon.