DiscoverContemporary Fiction

Better Days


Worth reading 😎

Thoughtful, well-written story of a man's journey towards responsibility

Darwin Burr is an easygoing, likeable character - perhaps a little sexist, but perhaps that just makes him more human. This is a story of his gradual transformation from someone who's reasonably happy just sitting on his behind to a man who achieves genuine success with the local school's girls basketball team, and who has to confront real and difficult choices.

I was hooked into Darwin's dilemma, when he finds out that his friend Billy isn't exactly who or where he thought he was. I wanted to find out what was behind Billy's mysterious disappearance, and whether Darwin's new love, Fariba, had anything to do with it. I almost felt I knew Billy personally - the characterisation was so good.

To be honest, the casual sexism was a little jarring for me, in this day and age. When Darwin cups the admin lady's butt to see if she's wearing a wire, I felt it was a sort of throwback to an earlier time in which such gestures might have been acceptable. They aren't now. My other issue was with the extended descriptions of basketball plays - but then, I'm not a sports watcher. I have to admit, I skimmed those bits.

But overall, this was a high quality read and I enjoyed it. If there's ever a sequel, I'd love to read it.

Reviewed by

I'm an author but I also read a lot. I do especially like to read books by high quality indie authors, because you often get original and unconventional work which wouldn't have been picked up by the major publishers.

About the author

Len Joy lives in Evanston, Illinois. His first novel, AMERICAN PAST TIME was published by Hark! New Era Publishing in 2014. It was described by Kirkus Reviews as “a well-crafted novel and darkly nostalgic study of an American family through good times and bad.” view profile

Published on February 15, 2019

70000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Reviewed by