Live Laugh and Love
by Michael J. Love
Reviewed by: Push Nevahda
“Because, even the painful stings of bad, sad, and hard times can be reduced when you look back on them from the future with a humorous mind.” But before we even get to reflect on Michael J. Lore’s novel, Live, Laugh, and Love, we are inundated with funny people, interesting characters, and witty dialogue – the essence of a good comedic read.
It has certainly been a long time since I read a novel that both made me laugh deeply at life’s idiosyncrasies and it’s oddities, but one which also took me to emotional levels where I was suspended in deep, critical thought pondering how closely the lives of Lore’s characters resemble the lives of people I’ve known all of my life. And that is where Lore’s novel makes the necessary breakthrough, channeling the spirit of his characters right into our own consciousness to show the humanity we all share.
On a personal level, I could certainly relate to this book, but I believe almost anyone – regardless of race – could relate to the people in Lore’s novel. Pops reminded me a lot of my father and my uncle. While my father was certainly no womanizer, yet, he would spend evenings holding court in the living room entertaining family and friends with wonderfully vivid stories of his childhood in Chicago and living in Mississippi. (And my dad was known to carry a .38 revolver, so no one in our neighborhood ever gave him a hard time.) This book really hit home for me. On another level, I related to the constant dramatic moments spent throughout the novel. We all know the crazy aunt, the shiftless cousin, and the office drama we take home to the dinner table for gossipy discussion. Lore’s novel brings it all back to us.
Any novel should make an honest attempt to deal with human issues, wrestle and grapple with human complexity, and show the beauty within the ugly. Live, Laugh, and Love makes an impressive attempt to deal with relevant and current issues (which isn’t confined to just urban/African American communities), such as alcoholism, drug addiction, single-parent homes, irresponsible sex habits, career choices, etc.
I recommend Lore’s book because (amidst our current crises of dread, despair, and hopelessness), like a good Tyler Perry play, Live, Laugh, and Love will helps us to relax, de-stress, and laugh at ourselves.
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