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Fortunate Son    by Walter Mosley order for
Fortunate Son
by Walter Mosley
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

Walter Mosley's new novel, Fortunate Son, explores themes of fate, luck, and resilience. Until the age of six, Thomas Beerman and Eric Nolan were raised in the same household, like brothers. Eric was born into privilege, the son of a wealthy Caucasian doctor who lost his wife shortly after Eric was born. Thomas was born with a hole in his lung, to a single black mother who could offer him nothing but her love.

Eric's father and Thomas's mother meet at the hospital during Thomas's infancy. They fall in love and live together as a family. Thomas is sickly, Eric is strong, and this pattern continues their whole lives. When tragedy strikes, Thomas is shuffled between family members, until he eventually falls through the cracks and ends up living on the streets, sometimes working for drug dealers to survive. Despite his dire circumstances, Thomas never loses his sense of faith and wonder at the world, and has acquired the nickname Lucky.

Eric grows into the golden boy: women constantly fall in love with him, he excels in every sport he has ever attempted; and he obtains everything he wants, easily. Eric, though, has never learned to love another human being, even his own daughter. He pushes others away, never forming intimate bonds, because he believes that his good fortune turns into someone else's bad fortune.

It is an accident of fate that sends the two brothers on divergent paths early in life. Though circumstances reunite them twelve years later, neither had forgotten the other. Reunited, the two embark on a quest for self-discovery and learn much about the meaning of fortune. Fortunate Son is a satisfying reading experience from a highly prolific author.

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