Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Lottery by Patricia Wood
Posted by JaneGS
I gave Lottery, by Patrica Wood, to my sister-in-law for Xmas last year. She read it earlier this year, liked it, and passed it on to me to read. I'm so glad she did because I really enjoyed it.
On the surface, it's a pretty straightforward story about a young man, Perry L Crandell, with a big heart who forges a family out of the disparate characters who people his world when his own family proves to be quite horrible. He is "slow," which means that he has a low IQ. He wins the Washington state lottery, and it is wonderful to see how he deals with the changes that the lottery money brings to his life.
My mother often talks about people needing to deal with the cards they've been dealt in life. One could say that Perry has been dealt a bad hand--not only is a slow, but his father is a scumbag who defrauded his own parents out of their retirement money, his mother and brothers are scheming, money-grubbing lowlifes, and after his grandparents die he is on his own. On the hand, Perry is blessed with a good heart, a loving disposition, and the capacity to share his life with those he cares about. He has a strong work ethic, and an innate sense of right and wrong. It turns out, those are the cards that make Perry a winner.
On the other hand, I appreciated the honesty with which the author demonstrated that money does actually make a difference in Perry's life. It's easy to say that "money doesn't matter," but Wood shows that money does matter. When Perry becomes a millionaire, people treat him differently than they did when he was poor. This, in turn, fuels his self-esteem, and once he starts believing in himself, he learns faster. He is a different person at the end of the book than he was at the beginning. Winning the lottery made a difference in Perry's life, but not just in the ways you might expect.
Definitely one of those feel-good stories that will touch your heart.