The Great Unexpected by Dan Mooney

When I started this book all I could think of was that the main character Joel reminded me of a cross between Ove (from A Man Called Ove) and Allan Karlsson (from the 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared) and both of those guys I loved, I truly and deeply loved.

Its easiest to just start out saying that I give this novel 5 stars.  It made me cry.   Yes, I cried.

I don’t know what it is that has been happening to me lately, I used to be so tough with my reviews.  Getting a 5 star was rough.  But when a book makes me cry, —  yes, makes me actually have to stop reading and pull myself together before I can continue because I am crying over its content, then (regardless of said content) it is an automatic 5 star.

When an author can elicit that much emotion out of me, well, the only word I can muster up right now is just….. Bravo.

I loved these characters so much.   Not just the main characters either, but the supporting cast, the other residents at the nursing home, with their quirky personalities, and then the staff members who deep down cared so much about the residents but are so afraid to get attached.  The author portrayed these people on paper so well that you almost really felt like you were there at the residence with them.   I also found a lot of truth to the comment Joel made about how people are left there until they die.   It sounds so harsh, but yet it’s the bitter truth.  This novel will open your eyes a little bit to the perspective of the elderly as the twilight years descend, and it really makes you think.

Aside from this deep stuff I’m choosing to tell you about there is this amazing story about friendship, comradery, loss and love.   One that will actually make you laugh out loud, and maybe even shed some tears.  It was heartwarming, heartbreaking and inspiring all at the same time.  I highly recommend reading this book, and I bet afterwards you end up recommending it to someone else.  You’ll definitely walk away from this one with a lot more than what you started.

And to sum it all up the best way….. in the words of Red from Shawshank Redemption “You can get busy living, or you can get busy dying.”

Thank you Harlequin, ParkRow, Dan Mooney and NetGalley for the ARC of this book for an honest and unbiased review.


About the Author


Dan Mooney is an amateur filmmaker and air traffic controller and a friend to many cats. He wrote his first piece of fiction for a child-operated local newspaper at age ten and has been writing ever since. He lives in Ireland.




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Published by ReadingGirlReviews

Serious book loving critical care RN dealing with RA, being married to a surgeon, my 2 crazy dogs, an obsession with crafting, and a mad desire to swing golf clubs (although quite poorly).

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