Book Review: ‘Such Good Work: A Novel’ By Johannes Lichtman

Twenty-Eight year old Jonas Anderson is a teacher with unusual teaching ways. He assigns his creative writing class out of the box things to do to use in their writings like going to a strangers funeral. Jonas is also a drug addict/recovering addict. He has stayed clean and then used and then stayed clean. This causes him to lose his current position.

So he moves back to his native Sweden where schooling is free and student loans are easy to get. He is back to get finish his classes and start over again. Getting drugs here isn’t that easy and he’s been able to resist for the most part, even though he wants them. He meets a few women and starts to fall for one but it doesn’t work out. He does start drinking again and getting to know some people. Soon he gets involved with the human refugee problem as Sweden has open borders and he starts working with young kids to teach them language and help them get a better way of life.

It changes everything in Jonas as he becomes attached to and one of the young students and does what he can to help him out. But somethings things aren’t enough. When he goes to Los Angeles for a wedding he runs into an old student and everything comes around full circle again.

This story seems almost like it’s biographical (but I don’t think it is). It’s a look at the everyday life of a drug addict and brings into play the humanitarian crisis of refugees and the problem they face and countries face in letting them in. It has it’s humerus moments as well. The character of Jonas is someone you root for and hope that he can overcome his demons and do some good for one person in the world.

You can pick up Such Good Work from author Johannes Lichtman, in stores on Tuesday, February 5th, from Atria.

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