True love is the only thing Mason Gallo ever wanted. He found it in a troubled girl named Keats Cameron in Niagara Falls. Now Keats has disappeared and Mason is searching for her trail. It leads Mason back into a world he longed to escape, a lifetime filled with sadness and loss. But Mason will do whatever he has to find his true love again. He will never give up. He will never stop.
Edgar Allen Poe was a great poet, yet his works were truly disturbing and depressing. That’s somewhat how I felt reading Dear Me Life In A Box. The most agonizing read by far out of all the books I’ve read in my life. While the writing was done fairly well, I would never want to read this novel again because of how tragic and dramatic and truly sick the story was. “Dear me” is exactly what I kept telling myself as I struggled to finish this sufferable novel. If you were looking for a happy ending or even a moral or just a nice, good, fun read; DO NOT pick up this book.
Okay, so maybe that was a little harsh (as was this novel) but it was a . . . let’s just say it was a different way to tell a story. It was as though a diary, stream of consciousness and a really bad self-help book were all rolled into one. The narrator begins with a page from the diary of Keats, the girl he is in love with and the one who has left him, again. And though he knows he should be searching for Keats, he is not. At this very moment, he is buying a plane ticket for Winsor, Ontario to meet his brother Spencer at the Windsor Casino.
Mason Gallo, like his brother Spencer as well as his other older brother Julian, is Italian yet he isn’t in the family business. And yes, I do mean that family business (Mafia). So he is not looking forward to the visit. Yet the ride to the casino leads Mason to ponder over love and how Keats is his life, and to not be with her is essentially death.
Now at the Casino, Mason is more unsettled now than he was before. However, Mason is relieved to see that Spencer is doing better than he was the last time their paths crossed. The last time Mason saw Spencer, his older brother warned him against falling in love. Yet presently, he is longing for his love Keats.
While visiting with his brother, Mason learns that the reason Spencer drinks, gambles, sleeps with women and uses drugs is because he lost the love of his life. Spencer lost his very own Keats and learned of the family curse. Thus Mason is currently aware of the man named Victor M., whose life’s purpose is to destroy the Gallo family.
Suddenly Mason mind is reeling. Who is this Victor M.? What had their father done to cause this man to want to destroy his family’s happiness? Is he responsible for Keats disappearance this time and possibly all the other times? How is Mason going to find him and end him? To live without Keats is to die and Mason will do anything, even dabble in the family practice just to have Keats. For “love is the end of life” his father once said, and his love for Keats would be the end of Victor’s life.
From here it spirals into a darker, family drama, where is the love kind of story. The story strays further and further away from Keats and delves deeper into Mason’s maddening mind until you are left with a definitive hopeless and horrifying ending. Dear Me Life In A Box is a tragic tale of some of the lives we lead. Life sucks and there is no sugar coating or hand holding going on here. However, something I failed to mention, Dear Me Life In A Box does try to teach one not to give up on love. No matter how tough it gets, always keep steadfast and wait for love, it could happen. Unfortunately, the moral of the lesson is that there isn’t always a happy ending. If there is one thing this novel teaches us, it’s that we can’t completely run from the past and we can’t escape who we really are, even if we don’t it.
Reviewed by Camia Rhodes
Publication date: 1/25/2013