Inside Man was rec’d on The Fictionators! Here’s some of what guest reviewer caro2lala had to say:
Have you ever bitten your nails like there is no tomorrow? Have you ever waited for that email to come that you know will make your day better? Have you ever stared at the screen of your computer wishing you had powers to make that update appear when you need it the most? Have you ever peeked into your phone during a business meeting, at church or in a PTA meeting to see if “it” had arrived? Have you ever… who am I kidding? If this was the drinking game “Have you ever” I would be so drunk right now, because the answers to all those questions for me is yes, yes, yes, YES!!! (And by Yes, I don’t mean thoooose yeses… but just in case… drink!!!) Lately the reason for my behavior is Inside Man written by Ooza.
Inside Man is the story of Edward Masen, 35, who in his own words:
I’ve made a lot of stupid choices in my life that I can’t take back, but I’m trying to be a good man now. I’m usually a happy person, but sometimes the loneliness of incarceration is overwhelming. I need a friend.
Bella Swan, 21, has just finished her junior year at college, is encouraged by her professor to participate in the write a prisoner program, in which she befriends none other than Edward Masen.
This is the premise of the story, but in reality what you get is the story of a man wanting to believe and trust in life, in people and most importantly in the possibility of his future.
Bella, without knowing how impactful her role is in Edward’s life, starts to open the window for hope.
What I love about this story is how in the simplicity of their exchange, the unspoken words or in this case unwritten words are more powerful than any written exchange they could have.
Little by little, Bella starts bringing Edward out of the obscurity that is his life, and by this I’m not referring of an Edward full of angst. What dreams are you allowed to have when your life is lived between 3 walls and bars? How do you cope with this and who do you become?
Edward is approaching his parole hearing and he’s afraid. Afraid for allowing himself, hope, and for that hope to be snatched away from him if the hearing doesn’t go in his favor.
Edward is starting to believe in the possibility of a future, of being able to have some frosting again, all with Bella’s help. How? Asking Bella simple questions that allows him to gain insight into her life and moments that we all take for granted: What do you do for fun? What is your favorite food?
I know what you’re thinking… “Seriously, caro2lalala, is that what you call exciting? Nail biting action?”
The answer is yes, and this is where the amazing Ooza pulls you in. She does this in a way that you’ve never experienced before. It starts growing on you and building up to the moment where you suddenly realize that this story has become your obsession, it owns your smiles and your nails!
The story is heartfelt, warming, Edward is broken and you feel for him. Edwards is broken because he’s alone, he has no family or friends. Where he is, he brought in on himself and he knows it and has comes to terms with it. This is where Bella finds herself, being pulled in by this stranger and his needs to believe. Bella continues writing to him even though here assignment is over.
Needless to say that through these letters a friendship starts to blossom, but even more important something they both need from one another: trust. Trust to be able to move on to the next step. In one of his letters, Edward asks Bella:
“Do you think someday we could be real friends?”
and in the next:
Will you visit me? I can’t do this alone anymore. I need someone.
As you read the story you will come to realize the poignancy of this moment in relation to Edward’s character: he is not a man who likes to ask for help, and it makes this plea all the more desperate.
I won’t reveal the outcome of this moment. What I will say is that it will be better than what you might expect. Get ready for an explosion of feelings. Not what you might imagine. You will find yourself gasping for air, with your hand on your heart, speechless. It will have a different meaning for each one of you and again props to Ooza for writing this moment and many others in an unexpected way, true to the story and the characters, true to seducing you without you noticing.
Have you ever smiled all day, just because? Have you ever felt fulfilled with written words, read during a stolen moment? Have you ever felt guilty because you want to write in your review that this is your favorite story ever (yes, I realize this is possible and it’s ok for it to join my list of 100th “favorite ever” story)? Well… * grabs bottle of booze and pours, 1, 2, 3 drinks * the answer for me to all of these is Yes!!!
And if you said no to the last question, or want to play this drinking game with me, then you know what you have to do.
Thanks caro2lala and The Fictionators!