by Lucas Alves
Genre: Literary & General Fiction
Print Length: 294 pages
Reviewed by Audrey Davis
A colorful story of searching for one’s place in the world
Landon Cassidy, a struggling writer with the world to prove, is currently swimming in personal turmoil. It seems that the only way he can quell it is with his 4-legged companion Maple, but instead of confronting it, he escapes by traveling.
But escaping life only lasts so long before you must face reality. Sometimes, running from your problems only prolongs them. In Signatures, Cassidy must decide his own trajectory as he meets a slew of new faces that usher him forward on his soul-searching journey of introspection.
“‘To know thyself is to know the world,’ he said.”
Lucas Alves gives us a nicely-put together literary novel with a hint of romance here. The story shines through Landon: he makes mistakes and can be a little selfish at times, like all of us as humans. Readers can feel his new-found rejection and hesitation, see the profound humanity shown in helping others, and empathize with his search for belonging, not just as part of a group but finding one’s long-sought place in society—a purpose.
The imagery is so vivid I feel like I could reach out and touch the sunset on the pages. The dialogue is fluid, with the author choosing not to use quotation marks, and the timeline moves swiftly across the novel with only a few hints or phrases here and there to denote the passage of time. These choices mirror Landon’s almost apathetic attitude and are reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s writings.
“For grief has its own rhythm.”
At times, I did long for a bit more clarity in transitioning between new scenes though. I would occasionally feel unaware the story had moved to a different “present,” only denoted by a future month eventually revealed or an event suddenly mentioned in past tense. I also wish we could have seen a bit more from the relationship between Granger and his wife. There isn’t much information offered about her, and what is offered feels slightly conflicting.
“He opened his mouth to respond, but realized he had nothing worth saying.”
I would recommend this book to those looking for a quick read with the intricate prose and vibrant images of a longer tale. Landon Cassidy’s story highlights well the message that something as simple as meeting the right person at the right time can mean a new friend or a missed connection. However the story goes, it is ours to tell. Charging into the unknown might be difficult, but sometimes it must be done if we are to truly succeed.
“You think you’re in uncharted waters, but you’re not. Far from it. You’re simply aboard a vessel beyond your comprehension. The fog will part, the sky will clear. But in order for you to see the sun, you must pick up the oar and ferry forth.”
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