STARRED REVIEW
March 08, 2016

Don’t harp on it

By Andy Mozina
Sometimes a guy just can’t catch a break. At least, that’s the way it seems for Matthew Grzbc, a basically good guy trying to succeed in love and work. A recently divorced dad, Matt has never led the most stable existence. He’s been a harpist since middle school, and is determined to make a career in that least likely of ways.
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Sometimes a guy just can’t catch a break. At least, that’s the way it seems for Matthew Grzbc, a basically good guy trying to succeed in love and work. A recently divorced dad, Matt has never led the most stable existence. He’s been a harpist since middle school, and is determined to make a career in that least likely of ways.

In fact, Matt is forced to prioritize money, family and art simultaneously, as a series of challenges converge. There’s his still-messy relationship with his ex-wife, Melina, which remains complex more than a year after their split. He’s got a girlfriend, Cynthia, whose beauty and brains can’t quite help Matt overcome his, um, bedroom issues. His 6-year-old daughter, Audrey, seems on the verge of nervous breakdown. Matt is torn between playing harp at a hospice for a small sum and preparing for an audition that has the potential to be his big break.

As life churns around him, Matt is left to sort out who he is and what matters most. It’s a challenge many can relate to. In Contrary Motion, author Andy Mozina has created a likeable, believable main character, the sort of guy alongside whom you could easily spend hours dissecting life over a couple of beers. It’s the first novel for Mozina, a professor of English at Michigan’s Kalamazoo College, and it’s sure to leave readers asking for more. Mozina’s storytelling is easy and humorous, taking the stuff of everyday life and presenting it in a way that both entertains and draws out emotion. 

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Contrary Motion

Contrary Motion

By Andy Mozina
Spiegel & Grau
ISBN 9780812998283

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