With The Thoughtful Spot, author Eric R. Weule has written a novel that is much more than it seems at first glance. His gentle writing style pulls the reader right in; with each new added facet, the story grows more and more intricate. The author does not waste words by weighing it down with heavy pose or description.
In the opening scene, Stacey Hughes is celebrating what would have been her sonís eighth birthday. Stacey has suffered the worst tragedy a mother can suffer, and her once happy life is in ruins. She once had the perfect marriage and a remarkable son named Micah. Nothing could have been better - until that fateful day when everything would change. The tragedy put the Hughesí lives into a tailspin, and they stopped living life, merely existing. Stacey is ready to begin her life again but finds it difficult; her marriage is in shambles. She is grateful for her teaching position at the local community college, which offers her some normalcy.
Tyler Sparks once led a seemingly satisfying life. He settled in Seattle, working as a landscaper and doing other odd jobs, a transplant from Southern California. While at first reluctant to accept that his life was not what it once was, Tyler comes to the realization that he can no longer ignore the direction his life is going. He has been suffering memory lapses, seizures, sensory overload, and blindness. He worries that he is either going insane or perhaps has an undiagnosed medical condition. It feels as if something or someone else is taking refuge in his skull, and his life is unraveling before his very eyes. The final straw is his wifeís betrayal with his best friend. Tyler struggles to get back on his feet while searching for the cause of his lost time and memory. Tylerís brother and sister-in-law offer him shelter in their Orange County home and strength during his time of need.
Stacey and Tylerís stories run parallel to each other, finally converging in a powerful way. The two are connected in a way neither imagined, and they come together in the hopes of understanding the direction their lives have taken.
Tyler and Stacey are both working through grief, and they are strong people who want to move on with their lives and share a determination to do so. As characters they are well-drawn, with emotions and thoughts deftly expressed throughout the novel. There is an immediate empathy for Tyler and Stacey as well as for many of the other major characters including Micah and Jake, whose own stories are intricately woven into the story.
The Thoughtful Spot is an insightful and sometimes emotionally charged novel about family, love, grief and resilience reminiscent of Alice Seboldís heart-wrenching The Lovely Bones. Eric R. Weuleís novel is impossible to put down and kept me guessing right up to the end, a touching story that will pull at readersí heartstrings.