"When I first decided to go back and read those old notebooks, I was desperate for answers. But my old self said: Look closer. Read between the lines. I left you secrets. Secrets that will take you on a terrifying journey. And if you survive that journey, you'll have more than just answers. You'll have everything."
Hollywood screenwriter Ben Cross is broken-hearted after the death of his young daughter. Even though he knows it's impossible, he still wants his little girl to have the Hollywood ending she deserves. And so Ben begins a desperate personal quest, searching for some sign from her. Consulting self-help gurus, philosophers, and religion, he derives a set of principles that reinforce his belief that everything can still work out. First, he applies those principles to finding that sign from his daughter. Then he applies them to his writing--to his career--to everything else in his life. Along the way, he discovers which principles work and which don't.
Meanwhile, at Ben Cross's side, the reader finds himself transported on his own spiritual odyssey, learning fundamental truths about how to live, how to maintain a career, and how to overcome cruel and unexpected setbacks.
Irving Belateche brings the reader to Hollywood in his novel, Under an Orange Sun, Some Days are Blue, with the hope that the city will bestow all it's promised. But it won't. Told in first person, the reader sits in the shadow of a screenwriter fighting his way up from the deadworld. A world he submitted to after losing his daughter to leukemia.
As a character, Ben Cross is nothing short of an epitome of Irving Belateche, as it's based on his own life. The books emits this feeling of realness and it settles onto the reader before the story has even began to unfold. Cross is full of strength and hope as he battles against depression and loss.
The plot of the story revolved around Ben finding his way back to life after experiencing death. Belateche takes the reader through his home life, his career, and his internal struggle. Readers witness this near death experience and watch as Cross tries to drag himself up from the depths. Though the novel falls short in personal connection, as I would think that relationships are a key aspect in healing. I wanted more interaction with Rachel (his wife) and Jake (his son) in the story.
Overall, Under an Orange Sun, Some Days are Blue was a great piece of fiction, though rather depressing at times. The story line begins lined in sadness but as Ben climbs from the deadworld, the sadness lessens and the novel evolves.
rating: 3/5 cups