An Unexpected Outcome
This is the unfortunate tale of Colby Carlisle, a highly innovative and creative man who climbs the ladder of victory through his talent as an architect. He has a coveted life with his humble and humanitarian wife, Haley and a gentle spirited son, Connor. All is blessed and tame. As Colby receives more accolades, awards, and attention, he becomes consumed by his accomplishments and makes choices based on financial gain, rather than familial bonds. He leans into his harbored demons and begins to crave the wild within. In the process, he becomes a shadow of the man Haley fell in love with and the downfall is catastrophic.
Roderick Cyr has created a story with many twists and there is, indeed, An Unexpected Outcome. At once, this story does create a suspenseful rise. There were many times that I had to know what would happen next, and that’s very rewarding as a reader. I was, however, torn. The story is, to use the words of many a creative writing instructor, all tell and no show. I was tempted to stop reading at several pit stops because I was being told every single detail. I wanted imagery and allusion, scenery and conflict that resided in more than words staring at me. It was a disappointment to have such a structured story in plot, but a lack in flow. The story did move, but there were far too many fast-forwards Six Months Later(s). Instead of staying in the moments and pursuing that time, the book jumped ahead every other chapter or so. It felt both stifled and rushed.
Cyr has a wealth of knowledge on many topics, as revealed in his wide array of subjects in architecture, forgiveness, and, most notably, human sex trafficking. He has done his homework well in that. His storytelling has some very high points. I could detect the momentum and climax, but the overuse of dialogue and language that did not fit the speaker or situation, along with asking far too many questions within the dialogue, telling every thought, and under highlighting severe catastrophes with unrealistic responses from the characters left me miffed at several turns. The end of the book captured something close to my heart, and I was very educated and even more softened to the subject, but it felt like it could have been an entirely different novel, apart on its own.
In the end, this book had me torn. There is definitely a story here; it holds together, but needs less and more. I was annoyed and entertained, frustrated and empathetic. I think it was a fair effort, but it felt premature; it wasn’t ready to be completely revealed, just yet.