Happy National Book Lovers Day & Thank You @scribnerbooks for my gifted copy of ‘Bear Necessity‘ by James Gould-Bourn! (pub 8/4)
As many of you know from my last Instagram post, my 4-legged family member, Zeus, passed away on Friday. He would have been 16 yrs old on 9/12. The last year has been a rough one for him (& of course for me as his main caregiver.) I have struggled all weekend w/ coming to terms w/ our loss, so to get out of my head, I read this book that was kinda relevant to what I am going through.
‘Bear Necessity’ is about a father & son overcoming their grief in surprisingly inventive ways.
Danny’s life is falling apart. He’s become a single father to 11-yr-old Will—who hasn’t spoken since the death of his mother in a car crash a year earlier—& Danny has just been fired from his construction job. To make matters worse, he’s behind on the rent & his nasty landlord is threatening to break his legs if he doesn’t pay soon. Danny needs money, & fast.
After observing local street performers in a nearby park, Danny spends his last few dollars on a tattered panda costume, impulsively deciding to become a dancing bear. While performing one day, Danny spots his son in the park, & chases off the older boys who are taunting him. Will opens up for the first time since his mother’s death, unaware that the man in the panda costume is his father. Afraid of disclosing his true identity, Danny comforts his son. But will Danny lose Will’s trust once he reveals who he is? And will he be able to dance his way out of debt, or be beaten up before he has a chance?
Filled with a colorful cast of characters, ‘Bear Necessity‘ is a refreshingly unpretentious & ultimately uplifting story of a father & son reconnecting in the most unlikely of circumstances. This debut novel definitely had it’s heartbreaking & tough-to-read-about moments, & of course I cried more than once (honestly, I would have no matter what, all things considered…), but ‘Bear Necessity‘ is at its heart uplifting & hopeful. The book deals with overcoming tragedy & grief in a unique way while a father does whatever he can to fix whats left of his family. Poignant, heartwarming, & utterly delightful, ‘Bear Necessity‘ is truly a wonderful book!
What others are saying about ‘Bear Necessity’:
“James Gould-Bourn’s novel is a comedy of sadness and dancing bears. That alone should convince you to pick up a copy, but I’ll add that it’s a delightful story about fatherhood and childhood. And dancing bears.”
—Owen King, author of Double Feature
“Fast, fresh and very very funny. Moving effortlessly from comedy to poignancy, it’s a story of joy, of connection and of the overwhelming resilience of the human spirit. Reading it made me want to dance. An absolute gem of a book.”
—Katie Marsh, author of The Rest of Me
“A deeply comforting story… heartfelt themes and wit further elevate charming plot twists and a well-tuned cast of quirky, supporting characters who prove that the spirit of friendship can build bridges to greater understanding and brighter days. Gould-Bourn is a beautiful, perceptive writer who has crafted a moving, sensitive story that is also very funny. Bear Necessity is a perfect literary antidote to anxious, troubled times.”
“Refreshing…. a well-written, speedy read that focuses on the love between a dad and his son and how it can lead to friendship.”
“Promising, sweet… a feel-good story about coping with grief.”