Fishbowl: A Novel by Bradley Somer

Release Date - August 2015

Bradley Somer
St. Martin's Press

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

The protagonist in Bradley Somer's Fishbowl is quite surprising. Ian is a goldfish, and he's about to plummet out of a 27th story window. As he rockets to the pavement below, he spies the lives of the people living in Seville on Roxy, an apartment building.

There's Connor Radley, Ian's owner. Connor seems to have it all, yet having it all doesn't seem to be enough for him. His girlfriend, Katie, and his lover, Faye, are in his thoughts the day Ian leaves the safety of his bowl. Herman, a homeschooled boy of 11, believes in time travel. Claire is an agoraphobic sex phone operator. She hasn't left her apartment in years and has no intention on opening the door when someone knocks at it. Garth is a construction worker with a secret. Petunia Delilah is on bed rest in the final trimester of her pregnancy and stress is the last thing she needs, yet it seems to be exactly what she's facing.

Each of these residents of Seville on Roxy is going to find they may live separate lives, but they all have ties that will bring them close to another over the course of the day. What becomes of each resident becomes increasingly important as the story progresses. For a read that I wasn't sure what to think of at first, I quickly became hooked.

Of all the characters, I do think that Petunia Delilah became my favorite. That woman is tough as nails. I also really enjoyed and empathized with Claire. I've dealt with agoraphobia and it can be incredibly crippling. I'd say she just about equals Petunia's grit.

If you're looking for something a little different, something with a touch of romance, suspense, mystery, and humor, Fishbowl: A Novel is exactly right. I'm so glad I read it and got to know each and every resident of Seville on Roxy.


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