Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto – by Eric Luper
One of the most interesting things about this book for me was the fact that it takes place in my home town. I imagine that people who live in big cities like New York experience this more frequently than most, but this is the first book I’ve read (at least since I’ve been old enough to appreciate it) that takes place in Albany, NY. It adds a whole new dimension to the story when you can visualize the streets and landmarks. When Seth drove through Washington Park or turned from South Lake onto New Scotland, I knew exactly where he was. It was a fascinating new experience.
On the worst day of his life, Seth Baumgartner gets dumped by his girlfriend, loses his job, and sees his father on a date with a woman who isn’t his mother. Struggling to deal with his loss of faith in love, Seth starts a podcast called the Love Manifesto, in which he discusses his mission to get his girlfriend back and his search for information about his father’s mistress. Meanwhile, he spends his free time at the golf course where his best friend works, preparing for the big father-son tournament, which suddenly seems like a greater challenge given what he now knows about his father.
Despite the fact that I have very little interest in golf and my attention tended to wane during the golf scenes and discussions, I found this book to be wonderfully engaging and entertaining. The characters are all well-developed and believable, and the writing is virtually flawless. I tend to be very nit-picky about sloppy writing and poor exposition and the like, and I found nothing at all to complain about with this book. I will certainly be reading more of Eric Luper’s work.