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"The Redemption of George Baxter Henry" by Conor Bowman

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George Baxter Henry is GBH, and he makes a joke out of having the same initials as “grievous bodily harm.” There’s really not much risk of that when you pick up this breezy, off-hand little tome, unless you injure yourself one of the times you throw your head back and laugh out loud. Because you will do that certainly, if you’re anything like me. You might not find the same things funny, but there’s more than enough to tickle everyone’s fancy.

The wisecracks start early and don’t let up. George Baxter Henry, fifty-one-year-old commercial lawyer and his fractured family are traveling to France from Boston for a holiday to see if George’s marriage can be saved. He also has to deal with his coke-addled rock star son and his hateful, vituperative mother-in-law. Along the way he sheds one paramour for another, more exotic, French one. You wind up wanting GBH to come out on top because of how involved he gets with his son and what how he quietly stays out of his daughter’s way. Through some underhanded tricks and some careful research and a climactic confrontation, George Baxter Henry squeaks through.

This is a moderately enjoyable bit of fluff, touching on some serious life issues, but never getting heavy-handed about them. At least George really learns what’s important by the end of the book.

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