Fiction - Family Saga

Outside the Big Oak Doors

Category:Fiction - Family Saga

Author:Michelle Tocher

  • Number of Pages: 114
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-9738776-6-3

Alice Montgomery recently lost her father to a heart attack. He has left behind his wife and four kids, all of whom are unique individuals. The eldest, Jeffrey is a beleaguered star athlete who keeps messing up the opportunities he has due to the trauma of losing his father. The next is Charlie, who shuffles a life of small crimes and religious obligations while staying his mother’s favorite. The youngest, Zack is the love child of Alice's father Jon and one of his co-workers but he was adopted into the family without question. The mother, Maddy is working vehemently to pull herself together by balancing two jobs at the same time to support her family.

Outside the Big Oak Doors by Michelle Tocher is a short but wholesome story about the chaos that runs deep in families. It follows Alice as she navigates her relationships with her mother and other siblings while at the same time dealing with the fact that she is the only girl amongst three brothers. By using Alice as the narrator, Michelle has built a robust core to the story, developing the portrait of a beautiful plot replete with family dynamics and drama. The book is divided into chapters that revolve around certain characters or incidents with no chronological order but the different threads are so intelligently woven together to create a delightful reading experience.

Michelle Tocher infuses the writing with realism and humanity, crafting scenes that are believable and creating characters that are likeable and unforgettable. With the protagonist as an astute observer, the author details her quest to understand numerous decisions that her father made. These choices had a significant impact on the life that they are leading today. All-in-all, the novel uses real-life incidents that are common occurrences that collectively become an unexpected driving force in the text. It is fast-paced, filled with drama, and moments that are emotionally engaging. 

Reviewed By: Jane Riley

Reviewed Date: October 29, 2021

Category: Fiction - Family Saga