Jacob Taylor, better known as Jake to his friends, finds himself back in the one place he never wanted to see again. In the wake of a serious illness and the end of a long-term relationship, Jake finds himself jobless and aimless. Hoping to rediscover how to live life, he grudgingly retreats to his hometown of Jackson Meadows, New Hampshire, and takes up residence in the house where he grew up. His mother is long gone but his father, Archie, is alive, if not well, in Meadows Retreat, the local nursing home. When Jake visits him, he finds that dementia has reduced the once strong and vital man to a mere shell. Their relationship has never been easy but now that Archie can’t even recognize his son, it seems impossible.
As well as getting reacquainted with his father, Jake finds himself renewing old friendships and running into an old girlfriend. His childhood best friend, John, lives next door to him and gradually they begin to reconnect. Once high-school basketball stars, they begin practicing together again and before they know it, are off on adventures. Even though he has every intention of returning to Philadelphia and resuming his legal career, Jake finds himself settling back into Jackson Meadows and to his surprise it begins to feel like home once more. His newfound relationships complicate the choice to leave, but no matter what happens, nothing will ever be the same, and maybe that’s exactly what he needs.
Author David Hartshorn has a way with words that isn’t entirely surprising, given his career as a trial attorney. He really knows how to craft a story, painting vivid pictures with his descriptions and teasing out color and personality in his characters, who are both are realistic and relatable. Hartshorn’s prose is by turns funny and serious, sad and inspiring, eliciting both laughter and tears making Jake’s story thought-provoking and emotional.
MORE THAN HALFWAY THERE by David Hartshorn is a beautifully written and heartfelt novel of love and loss, home and family, that will leave readers reflecting on their own lives and relationships.
~Heather Stockard for IndieReader