The Last Exit to Normal: a novel by Michael Harmon
Ben’s life is far from normal – and has been that way since the day his father informed Ben and his mother that he was gay. Ben’s mother took off, leaving the fourteen-year-old Ben to not only come to terms to his father’s sexuality, but also with the abandonment of his mother.
Ben acts out. His grades drop. He gets drunk, does assorted drugs (before settling on weed as his drug of choice), and gets in to all sorts of trouble.
But that was then. Three years later - after making a deal with his dad to clean up his act for a year to be able to obtain his drivers license, Ben gets caught up in one last mistake with his old friends. This causes his father and his “momdad” to make the decision to move from big city life in Spokane, Washington, to very small town life in eastern Montana. It’s a major adjustment for Ben, who must learn respect for himself and for those around him.
I love Ben’s since of humor and style, as well as that of Edward (his “momdad”). The conflict between Ben and his father rings true, as does the non-nonsense attitude of Edward’s mother, Miss Mae.
Story was great – but a little too tidy in places. The ending was almost fairytale like…which I found annoying. Beyond that, I really did enjoy the book.