I had never had the pleasure of reading any of John Irving’s books. Little did I know how much of a prolific writer he is. When I was younger, I’d watched the movie Cider House Rules, but being that young I couldn’t really appreciate it. I’d like to go back and watch it again some day.
As part of the book club I take part in, A Prayer for Owen Meany was chosen. I was a bit dubious as to whether I would enjoy this story or not. I know they say never judge a book by its cover but I still tend to do so. And I was definitely not impressed with this one. Written in 1989 about two boys growing up in a small town of New Hampshire, I wasn’t inspired to devour this book as quickly as I usually would.
However, I was pleasantly surprised. We are introduced to the two young characters, John Wheelwright and Owen Meany, as their friendship grows and the adventures they encounter through their years. The town of Gravesend is the setting for these youngsters as they learn to grow up through whatever life may throw at them. Tragedy strikes early and sometimes the boys seek out trouble of their own, but through it all they stick together.
Owen Meany, a strange little boy, is even stranger when it is revealed he thinks that he is God’s gift and that he was put here for a purpose. How many times have we wondered what our purpose is? And here is this young boy who already seems to know. Owen’s “knowledge” makes their escapades even more interesting.
Parts of Irving’s book were a bit dry, and the story was a tad difficult to get into, but after a few pages, it was hard to put down. The ending is a bit predictable but A Prayer for Owen Meany certainly is thought provoking and entertaining.