Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Glorify Each Day by John Banks

Glorify Each Day is a fictional drama.

Tommy "Teach" Morrison works as a part-time teacher at the Toxononomonee Community College.  He teaches the GED, or General Equivalency Diploma, to a wide range of people both young and old.

Upon his first day of classes, he asks his students for their meaning of what GED stands for.  They are each asked to write an essay explaining the acronym GED as it applies to their own lives.  Each student hands in their accounts, some are horrifying accounts of life; others speak of the reasons why they are where they are in life and others are a mix of hodge-podge and nonsense.

Each of the students essays are shared as we explore the human nature of each of the individuals.  As well, we are privy to the inner thoughts and emotions of Teach, who has begun to see a therapist on the bequest of his girlfriend, Cheryl.

Teach has many past issues with an old girlfriend from his college days, Cait.  The reader is shown in retrospect, the love that is shared between the two and gives insight as to why Teach is unable to let go of his past.  We learn of his weird sexual quirks and the reason he cries so much and at the oddest times. 

When something tragic occurs at school and Teach is deemed a "hero", he must come to terms with the man he has become.  The aftermath of the event tears into him, changing his perspectives on life.

I thought for the most part this book was delivered in an interesting and witty way.  I liked the character of Teach and found him to be human in his approach.  As well, some of the students found their way into your heart as you read the dilemmas they have to face daily.

I wasn't all that impressed with the Cait back story and how it was shared.  Sometimes I felt like there were three or four stories in this one and it was confusing on the direction the author wished to strive for.  I didn't feel like the whimisical romantic thoughts added anything to the overall story, other then to give the reader a sense that he truly is unable to let go.

I found the plot could have been much more interesting and provoking had Teach not been extremely centered on the Cait issue.  I wasn't given any justification on why I should feel for Teach in his caring of his ex-girlfriend and found it to be almost sinister.  In this, one can really feel for the character of Cheryl, who has no idea the man she has come to love.  In her heart she knows there is someone from his past and its hard to live up to a ghost.  Teach treated her very unfairly by not explaining his past to her before his commitment to their love.

I would give this three out of five stars.  I enjoyed the wit of Teach and how he handled his situations, but sometimes he came off as too flamboyant and I felt it strayed off character.  If you enjoy dramatic fiction with some comedy thrown in and a cast of misfit characters, then I am sure you will enjoy this book!

Tommy "Teach" Morrison - teacher, raconteur and alleged devil worshiper - can't stop crying over the loss of Cait, the love of his life, a loss caused by a violent nature that he struggles to understand and control. Can Tommy come to grips with his grief about his past deeds, a past that includes more than one horrible secret? He has many people in his life who could help - including several of his students, whose essays have important lessons for Teach, if he will only listen. Glorify Each Day is a remarkable novel depicting the consequences of violence. However, it is not a dark, brooding novel, as you will quickly realize as you turn its pages. John Banks is a masterful storyteller, full of humor both outrageous and wry, but with a compassion for his characters that always shines through.

** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by I see it~!! **