A review by mtthwkrl
All We Can Do Is Wait, by Richard Lawson


What a sweet little book! I picked it up because I follow Richard Lawson on Twitter, but I guess I wasn't following him when it was released. Although the novel starts with a dramatic bridge collapse, most of what unfolds are the quotidian dramas of being alive: insights into the self that you try and shove down into the unconscious, trying to be brave enough to make a leap into what you know you have to do, the loneliness and despair of trying to stay connected to someone who is trying like hell to run away.

Now, maybe you watch a lot of Netflix crime shows and the only thing that seems dramatic now is a race to decode cryptic clues before a baby rapist detonates explosives underneath the final match of the world cup. Compared to that, this book may very well seem plotless and boring to you. I cannot help you there.

I give it a few extra points for incorporating some teen characters that are neither the bland upper-middle class that usually peoples YA nor are they only in the book to edify the white characters. A few points knocked off for still centering bland upper-middle class teens.

The reason I didn't think it added up to a five star book to me is that it didn't really ever answer why we were looking at these characters. They were all fascinating, but they never quite cohered together because the present-day narrative is packed into a single day. Second, although it has a beautiful message about dealing with uncertainty and taking each day as it comes, it doesn't quite present that in a way that allows the reader to take it away in their own life (unless there has been a bridge collapse in your community).

But please give it a read! I'd love for Lawson to get the chance to write another one.