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About the Author
The life of Patrick Dilloway has been far less exciting and compli-cated than that of Frost Devereaux. Patrick grew up in the small town of Laporte, Michigan, where much of his family still resides. He graduated from Midland High School and then Saginaw Valley State University with an accounting degree. He still lives in Michigan, where he writes novels such as this when not chained to his desk, balancing debits and credits.
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Patrick "P.T." Dilloway has been a writer for most of his life. He completed his first story in third grade and received an 'A' for the assignment. Around that time, he was also placed in a local writing contest for a television station, receiving an action figure in lieu of a trophy, thus securing his love with the written word. Since then, he's continued to spend most of his free time writing and editing. In the last twenty years, he's completed nearly forty novels of various genres. When not writing, P.T. enjoys reading and photographing Michigan's many lighthouses. In order to pay the bills, he earned an accounting degree from Saginaw Valley State University in 2000 and for twelve years worked as a payroll accountant in Detroit.
Where You Belong is the story of Frost Devereaux, a writer, named for the nurse who brought him into the world. From tragic beginnings to his formative years and beyond, we are taken on a journey of love and loss, exploring his relationship with both Frankie, the love of his life, and her brother, Frank, who is there to pick up the pieces when she breaks Frost's heart. But who will Frost choose in the end?
This book made me care about the characters like old friends, and kept me intrigued right to the very end. I will be looking forward to reading Patrick Dilloway's next novel.
I say "taking me by surprise" only because I didn't expect it to be such a good read. I've read a ton of John Irving, and I have to say that this story is definitely on par with his. The kind of stories that you're washed along with and though they have their down (read: sad) moments, they're balanced by all other moments--as it is in real life.
In a way, I'm almost upset that it's as good as it is, as I've just received this book that I've been wanting to read for such a long time (found a good deal), but I can't--and don't want to--put Mr. Dilloway's down. But on the flipside, I am rather glad that it has a nice length to it: gives me an opportunity to savor it a bit. That other book will be there waiting for me; I just hope when I'm done with this one, I won't want more of it. Complete sincerity when I say you will not be disappointed. Well worth the price I see listed.
Upon first beginning, "Where You Belong," I was quite entranced by the main character and his backstory. Frost is instantly sympathetic. The book opens in such a way that you realize you're in for something of a treat. By that I mean, the first few moments are delightfully funny, witty and charming. A tone that stays consistent through nearly the entire book. It is overall a pretty fun (albeit somewhat long) read. There is a hint of John Irving here in a lot of ways including the absent parent, bizarre accidents and sexual variations. Fans of such John Irving books as The World According to Garp, A Widow for One Year and The Hotel New Hampshire are sure to find a lot to like about Patrick Dilloway's book.
Frost is a young child who has been scarred for life. Both literally and figuratively. After being involved in a tragic car accident that takes the life of his mother and leaves him with a scar on his face he seems to be forever out of place wherever he goes. As such he is something of a curiosity to those he encounters. Likewise, he is instantly sympathetic to the reader. Particularly once we learn about his father and his mother and who they were, and the life that Frost lives during childhood. When Frost goes to Kindergarden and the other students frighten him, he is quickly befriended by Frankie and Frank, who accept him and love him for who he is (or so we hope). The story then proceeds to span three decades of Frost life as he meets one new interesting face after another, and pines for the affections of Frankie, while getting himself involved in other unusual relationships and friendships along the way.
There are a lot of things tackled in Where You Belong. Chief among them are big themes facing the gay community at large.Read more ›
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A smooth read... a bit on the long side, but Dilloway has a knack for pulling the rug out from under the reader's expectations at well-calculated times. His style is clear and polished. I just kept turning the pages and enjoying myself. Frost Deveraux is an interesting and complex character who receives some hard knocks but never descends into self-pity. All of Dilloway's characters are well-rounded, from the mute Mrs. Gallery to the boisterous Guy LeClair. Watch this author.
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Initially, I decided to pick up Where You Belong by Pat Dilloway because he said it was the very best of his books. He said he was inspired and that he would never write anything better than this novel. I think that's what he still says about it. I figured that sounded like a good place to start. I mean, if an author says about one of his books that it's the best thing he's capable of writing, you may as well start with that, right? Yeah, that's what I thought, too.
It didn't take me very long to realize that if this wis the best that Dilloway has to offer, then I won't be reading any of his books.
First, it's written in first person. (I haven't been shy about how I feel about first person. But it's worse, because it's written in first person omniscient and, well, that's just not a thing. I mean, unless your protagonist is God (or, maybe, Charles Xavier), omniscient and first person do not go together. That's the whole reason for writing in first person, to have a limited view of what's going on. A view limited to only what the protagonist knows and observes. That's why first person works so well in detective fiction, because the whole point of that is the protagonist trying to work out what he doesn't know from his rather limited perspective. This issue of allowing the first person protagonist to know too much is very pervasive in first person stories, but I'd never seen full-on first person omniscient before. Yes, it set me against the book right from the start, because, again, first person omniscient is not a thing.
[Note: Dilloway has spoken on his blog and various other places that the book was originally written in third person and that he later went back and converted it.Read more ›