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Dear Will: A Novel by Karl Ackerman
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Dear Will: A Novel

by Karl Ackerman

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Will Gerard, the protagonist of Karl Ackerman’s Dear Will (New York: Scribner, 2000), is a middle-aged man living in the way that most man, and women too, have lived since the beginning of time, which is at the center of their own universe. The central aspect of the story involves a young woman, given up for adoption at birth, who is seeking to locate her birth father. The particular twists and turns of his life may be interesting to the outside observer but in the end the only thing that seems to tie his life together is that, from his particular perspective, the present is okay.

For all the variations and complexities in relationships that emerge as the characters find their way there is a paucity of emotional connectedness among the characters. Given the age that we live in and the way virtually any type of relationship is viewed as acceptable within our society maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised that everything was casually okay. I, however, would have found it refreshing if one of the voices would have, in effect, stood up and said, “Hey! That isn’t okay, and this is why not.”

Ackerman tells a tale that is okay, in the sense that it is a tale with a few unpredictable turns, but one I find that I suspect will stay with me not because of what it says, but because of what it doesn’t say. Our postmodern culture needs more voices that say what is right and what is not, and why that is so, and not another voice that says at the end of the day, “A good time was had by all.” ( )
  BradKautz | Mar 25, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0684839539, Hardcover)

At forty-one, Will Gerard is finally getting it together -- in his professional life, at least. He has worked in publishing for years, but it's only when he becomes a literary agent in Washington, D.C., that he strikes pay dirt. A couple of high-profile sales have caught the attention of The Washington Post, so it publishes an admiring profile extolling the virtues of this literary wheeler-dealer with "the soul of a poet".

Suddenly Will is up to his neck in query letters -- one of which is from a University of Maryland coed suggesting that Will is her biological father. This news plunges Will headlong into a past full of long-buried guilts and nearly forgotten memories. As if this weren't enough, he is further ambushed emotionally when Annie Leonard, his girlfriend of exactly forty-two days, and the woman of his dreams, tells Will that she wants to have a baby with him.

Dear Will explores the challenges contemporary men and women face in their struggle to build fulfilling relationships. Author Karl Ackerman has written an honest, perceptive, and thoroughly entertaining book about family -- the one you're born into, and the one you struggle to create.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:20 -0400)

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