The unthinkable has happened. Matt Reiser's ex wife has stage four lung cancer. Her one wish is to have their son, Karl, come home and be with her before she dies. The only problem is neither has spoken to or seen Karl in years. Melanie, Matt's ex wife, asks that he go to Africa and bring their son home for her. Despite his uncertainty of leaving Melanie alone, Matt agrees. They plan the trip right down to the minute. Funny though plans have a way of being changed unexpectedly. The trip to Africa becomes more of an adventure than Matt bargained for. From the moment he steps off the plane in Africa things go wrong. He's mugged. He's unable to understand the language. He finds himself in a very poor village, alone, and all his money and affects gone. With a little help, Matt soon finds his hotel and his adventure takes another turn. He gets mixed up with local petty criminals in an effort to regain his personal belongings. Now, he's found Karl, but will his son come home and will they make it in time.
This moving story hits right in the heart! I promise you'll need tissues for this one. I thought this story was wonderfully written and reminds us we have no idea when our time will be up, so make the most of life. I found Matt Reiser to be a character you want to help at times and others you want to smack him for his unsophisticated ways. The characters are well developed, at least Matt and Melanie are. Karl seems to be just a sketch really. The locals are every bit as colorful as you'd expect in a country where the extremes are the norm. I loved the details about the surroundings because you felt as if you were right there seeing them yourself. This book is one you'll share with everyone!
The only issue I saw was, as I said, Karl seemed to be a sketch and not a fully developed character. He's talked about throughout the book, but you don't learn to much about him as a person.
I gave this one 5 out of 5 books because I truly empathized with the characters.