In a world as interconnected as ours, people are lonelier than ever. Enter the Helix, and its leader Thurlow Dan. Lonely people all over the world join the Helix to get back to the basics and make connections with real people who feel the same way. But is the Helix a support group for lonely people or is that a front for a secessionist cult with ties to North Korea? And is Thurlow Dan, separated from his wife and daughter, actually the loneliest of them all?
Fiona Maazel is the brains behind Woke Up Lonely, a quick, quirky, contemporary novel. Her writing style and grasp of storytelling make this a book that’s hard to put down. The story’s themes of loneliness and family and connection in a world that is (supposedly) more interconnected than it’s ever been are incredibly relevant and Maazel’s story provides an interesting context in which to examine these themes.
I really enjoyed this book. It came highly recommended, and it didn’t disappoint! While reading, I alternated between having absolutely no idea what was going to happen next and thinking I could see where it was going–only to be proven wrong, time after time, right up to the end! The unique cast of characters provides a number of perspectives, which lets readers of all sorts connect with the story in their own ways.
I was also fortunate enough to meet Fiona Maazel while visiting Graywolf Press with one of my classes. She talked to us about being a writer and the publishing/editing process from the author’s point of view. She was very upbeat and seemed so comfortable in her own skin and passionate about her work. I was honored to meet her and to be able to tell her how much I liked Woke Up Lonely, regardless of the fact that I was not even halfway through the book at the time! I look forward to what she will come up with in the future!
Maazel, Fiona. Woke Up Lonely. Minneapolis: Graywolf, 2013.
Cover design by Alvaro Villanueva. Cover photo from istockphoto.com. Image from bn.com.