Skip to main content

We Now Return to Regular Life

Review

We Now Return to Regular Life

It’s been three years since Sam Walsh went missing on a bike ride to the mall. Since then, his best friend Josh, and his sister, Beth, have been tormented with his disappearance, both blaming themselves for what happened. At this point, they’ve finally settled into regular life, and while Sam is still on their mind, they’re able to move on. Then, Sam is found.

Sam’s whole family is beyond relieved and happy to have their brother and son back, except Sam isn’t the innocent boy that they last knew. Now he’s a 14-year-old who is struggling with the present and isn’t doing so well emotionally. Beth and Josh have no idea what to do, especially since Josh is hiding some information about what happened the day Sam went missing. They have to find some way to deal with it because regular life has now returned.

Going into WE NOW RETURN TO REGULAR LIFE, I had no idea what to expect. I’ve never read a book with a topic like this and I hadn’t read any other Martin Wilson book. Now, I am so glad I’ve read this novel. Right away, I was gripped with the story and ended up reading it in about 24 hours.

"A pleasant surprise that went super quickly, WE NOW RETURN TO REGULAR LIFE should be handed to every reluctant reader in need of a compelling book."

The first thing I really enjoyed about this book is how it was told. From the synopsis, I think most people think it would be told from Sam’s point of view. However, it’s told from the alternate point of views of Josh and Beth, both having very distinct voices. I loved hearing from both of them and was both sad and excited every time the point of view switched. They also really showed that tragedies like these not only severely impact the victim, but also everyone who was close to the victim. The way it was told also hid the character Sam in way that was really compelling. The reader was slowly learning bits and pieces of Sam just like the main characters.

One thing I noticed during the first little bit of the book was the misogyny that was surrounding Sam. Sam himself (before everything happened) used a lot of terms associated with womanhood as insulting. There was also some talk that Sam wasn’t man enough because he was kidnapped, and therefore was weak. But, by the second half of the book, everything changed to my liking. The conversation turned into how manhood and vulnerability go hand in hand, but also that being kidnapped didn’t affect, in any way, Sam’s manhood.

There’s something to be said with books like WE NOW RETURN TO REGULAR LIFE and that is America’s kidnapping culture. I think parents everywhere are pretty terrified of their kids disappearing and at this time in our history, it’s a real threat. We also have a fixation on kidnapped survivors, who have returned home. Throughout the book, Sam and his family were constantly bothered with news reporters who literally camped out on their front lawn and harassed them. I’ll admit that I, like everyone else, am interested in these stories, but we should let victims come out with their stories on their own time.

A pleasant surprise that went super quickly, WE NOW RETURN TO REGULAR LIFE should be handed to every reluctant reader in need of a compelling book.

Reviewed by Reanna H., Teen Board Member on August 14, 2017

We Now Return to Regular Life
by Martin Wilson