“Follow Ben on a journey from a thriving cardiac surgeon to his unexpected decision to become a retirement home janitor, where he lives a much less stressful life – until his past catches up with him and his new world unravels.”
If you told me one of my favorite books of the year would take place in a nursing home, I probably wouldn’t believe you. And I’d be wrong.
Prime of Life is the story of Ben–a retirement home janitor and former heart surgeon. It’s P.D. Bekendam’s debut novel and winner of Worthy Publishing’s Operation First Novel 2013 Contest. I honestly didn’t know how much I would like Prime of Life, but I’m SO glad I read it! My mom actually picked it up first when it arrived, and she tore through it. [She even wrote her own review, which I’ve included in this post!] She couldn’t stop talking about it, but I was still a bit skeptical. When I finally picked up the book, I read until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. I finished it the next morning, and I’ve been recommending it to people left and right.
The story is told from Ben’s point of view. We’re introduced to several residents of the retirement home who become major characters in Ben’s life. The title, Pr1me of Life, is two-fold in describing the story. Ben is in the prime of his life, but he also has some neuroses, including an affinity for prime numbers. I was especially intrigued with Ben’s quirks and anxieties, and they are numerous! I felt the book was very believable. I was worried at one point that everything was going to be resolved too easily, but Bekendam stuck to the story and gave us a completely realistic conclusion. Prime of Life shows how one incident, or your feelings about it, can derail your entire life. One of my favorite things about the story actually drove me crazy when I was reading it! I had to keep myself from flipping to the end to see how things turned out. Bekendam ends the story abruptly and picks up years later in the epilogue. You’re left wondering about something for awhile, but the story ends (in my opinion) in the perfect way. I know this review is a bit vague, but I’m trying really hard to avoid giving spoilers! I want you to read this book. Prime of Life is interesting, emotional, smart, believable, and well written. I look forward to Bekendam’s future work!
Info from the Publisher:
PRIME OF LIFE
Operation First Novel 2013 contest winner, Prime of Life was released in Kindle edition only and has garnered in excess of 200 positive reviews with over 6,000 paid downloads.
Ben used to be a cardiothoracic surgeon before he suddenly abandoned his career and became a janitor at a retirement facility. Now, other than dealing with minor problems such as an unhealthy obsession with prime numbers, an inept boss, and a feud between two cantankerous retirees, he lives a relatively stress-free life. There is even hope for romance when an attractive podiatrist shows an interest in him. But it is not long before his past catches up with him and his carefully protected world begins to unravel. Filled with humor and quirky characters, Prime of Life delivers a satisfying and entertaining read.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author and practicing eye surgeon, Dr. Bekendam is happily married and the proud father of two boys. Proceeds from his writing go to help fund his activities in developing countries as he works to bring cataract surgery to the needlessly blind. Prime of Life is his debut novel.
My mom’s review:
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Prime of Life. This is one of those books that you hate to sit down. I used every spare moment and even ‘created’ spare time to read until I finished this book in 3 evenings. Dr. Bekendam keeps your attention with superb writing that keeps you coming back for more. He gives just enough so you want to know what comes next. Bekendam describes real individuals, each with their very own personalities, so lifelike, making his story so undeniably believable. The difficulties faced, the day to day living, the happy times, the questions of the mind and calls of the heart–all are addressed here in such a unique and captivating method. Hats off to the author…can’t wait for more.
Prime of Life is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBook.com, and in book stores across the country. I hope you’ll check it out!
*Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.