Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Bear Necessity


A delightful story about a grieving British father and his young son who refuses to speak and how they learn to communicate with each other through a dancing panda bear.


British-born author James Gould-Bourn bursts onto the U.S. literary scene with a charming, deeply comforting story about a father and son entrenched in grief.


After a car accident claimed the life of Danny Malooley's beloved wife--and mother to their son, Will--father and son grapple with their loss, trying to shore up their shattered world. Matters hit rock bottom when Danny suddenly loses his construction job and cannot pay the bills. But worst of all is the fact that 11-year-old Will has refused to speak to anyone--including his dad--since his mother's death.


Depressed, destitute and desperate, Danny ambles through a park one day and spots street performers entertaining passersby and raking in money. This proves a moment of enlightenment as he decides, on a lark, to join their ranks. Barreling through a host of amusing complications, he secures an old panda bear suit and sets off to earn some money covertly.


Meanwhile, Will struggles with his lingering silence and being taunted by older kids at school. When the boy is bullied in the park one day, a goofy-looking, dancing panda performer unexpectedly comes to his rescue.

Heartfelt themes and wit further elevate charming plot twists and a well-tuned cast of quirky, supporting characters who prove that the spirit of friendship can build bridges to greater understanding and brighter days. Gould-Bourn is a perceptive writer who has crafted a moving, sensitive story that is also very funny. Bear Necessity is a perfect literary antidote to anxious, troubled times.

Bear Necessity: A Novel by Jason Gould Bourn

Scribner, $26.00 Hardcover, 9781982128296, 320 pages

Publication Date: August 4, 2020

To order this book on INDIEBOUND, link HERE


NOTE: This review is a reprint and is being posted with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (August 7, 2020), link HERE


To read the longer form of this review as published on Shelf Awareness for the Book Trade (July 14, 2020), link HERE