by Rich Marcello

Verdict: THE BEAUTY OF THE FALL is well-named--it is almost a poem in prose about the ability of the human spirit to find beauty, new hope, and new purpose even through loss, grief and despair.

IR Rating



IR Rating

A tech startup wiz, after a number of hard losses, starts a new company devoted to improving the world through conversation – and finds himself in the process.

We are first introduced to Daniel Underlight as he is fired from a company that he helped to found. The loss is only the last straw in a string of losses, starting with his marriage and the life of his ten-year-old son Zack. But as Dan recovers from this latest grief, he finds himself with an idea that could change his life – even the world. Following his new dream, however, will set in motion a series of events Dan can’t hope to control. Can he find his way to the peace, openhearted love, and simplicity he craves?

THE BEAUTY OF THE FALL is a poetic book, which shows us the internal world of a driven, devoted, thoughtful and very human protagonist through grief and triumph, love and heartbreak. Hope shines through this book even at its darkest moments, and it offers a quiet guide on achieving true happiness and peace in a world that sometimes seems to reward all the wrong things.  The book is told entirely from Dan’s point of view, giving an intimate, personal perspective that brings the reader right into the story.  That kind of first-person perspective requires, for its best effect, a fully-developed and complex protagonist to do its thinking, and Dan does not disappoint. He has enough flaws to make him interesting, but at heart, he is a warm and likeable guy, trying as hard as he can to contribute something of value in the world, to heal his own broken places, and to find real meaning in loss. The author’s writing style is thoughtful, almost lyrical, giving the book’s events an emotional rhythm and deepening their meaning. At times, Marcello is perhaps a bit too idealistically optimistic, especially perhaps for the current political climate. The book suggests the possibility of pushback from entrenched interests, and the risks they pose to Dan’s public goals, but does not follow up enough on this. Some of Dan’s public and political successes feel a bit too easy, even with the challenges he faces from his personal life. But the warmth, light and hope this book exudes are still inspiring, even if it might be harder to get there from here than the author suggests.

THE BEAUTY OF THE FALL is well-named–it is almost a poem in prose about the ability of the human spirit to find beauty, new hope, and new purpose even through loss, grief and despair.

~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader

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