Review: The Best Laid Plans – Terry Fallis

Read: 6
To Go: 94

Book List
1. Happy Ever After – Nora Roberts
2. The Bone Cage – Angie Abdou
3. Unless – Carol Shields
4. No Rules…Just Write – C. Noelle Susice
5. All My Friends Are Dead – Avery Monsen and Jory John
6. The Best Laid Plans – Terry Fallis

I love snow days! Well, it wasn’t an official snow day, but my class was cancelled so I’m calling it one. Regardless, my ‘snow day’ afforded me the opportunity to finally finish Terry Fallis’ The Best Laid Plans, which I’d been working on for at least three weeks, so I’m rather pleased with myself right now.

The Best Laid Plans follows Daniel Addison, a speech writer for the Liberal Party of Canada (at this time in the book officially known as The Opposition). Due to a surprising turn of events in his personal life, he chooses to leave The Hill for good. Upon informing the Leader, Addison is tasked with one more favour before his political career comes to an end: secure a Liberal candidate in a riding (Cumberland-Prescott) that’s been solidly Conservative for a great number of years.

Though it took me a painfully long time to get through The Best Laid Plans, it wasn’t because I wasn’t enjoying the book; I was just busy. But every time I was able to sit down and read a little bit, I found myself getting sucked into the world of Daniel, Angus, Muriel, and Lindsay. Fallis did a great job at making the politics in the novel accessible for even the most daft of readers (i.e. me), and threw in enough plot twists to make your head spin – and I mean that in a good way. It wasn’t a novel of which I could’ve easily guessed the ending, and when it finally came to a conclusion I was cheering right along with the characters.

The characterization was, quite frankly, the best part of the book. I could see Daniel and Angus perfectly in my mind and could almost hear them, too. Angus was described so wonderfully, and with such a true-to-life Scottish burr, that I wanted to reach out and hug the old engineering prof, and Daniel was delightfully nervous yet verbose – as he said, “I subscribe to the why use five words when thirty-five will suffice school of thought.” (Can’t find the page number for citation, sorry!)

I still have two more Canada Reads novels to get through, but right now I think The Best Laid Plans is tied with The Bone Cage for my favourite!

Next novel: The Case for Falling in Love by Mari Ruti. I’m reading it for work, so I might as well include it in my total!

– Kelsey

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