The One Good Thing by Kevin Alan Milne offers a little something for a variety of reader types, which isn’t always a good thing. In this case, however, it is a good thing, which is fitting, given the book’s title.
Main character, Nathan Steen, is a good guy. He tries to do the right thing and has even made it his mission to make concerted efforts to serve others on a daily basis. He tracks his progress of goodness by carrying a group of stones in his pants pocket that he switches to the other pocket after doing a good deed for someone with the goal of moving all the stones each day.
His wife, Halley, admires this quality in her husband and is quick to praise him for his efforts.
Nathan’s kids, Ty and Alice, are also quite fond of their father (especially Alice). Ty, however, feels pressure to live up to his dad’s good name, even though he’s the star quarterback on his high school’s football team and has made a name for himself already.
On his way to Ty’s football game, Nathan stops to help someone on the side of the road, and dies in a freak hydroplaning accident in the process.
Devastated by the loss of Nathan, his family struggles to come to grips with the situation, which is only exacerbated when Halley finds an email from Madeline Zuckerman, who references a daughter who she refers to as being hers and Nathan’s.
With no knowledge of this, feelings of betrayal and anger compound Halley’s pain.
You’ll need to read the book to find out what happens after this, but it opens an interesting can of worms. When is keeping a secret an act of deception? Is it always? Or can it be so clear-cut?
Reading The One Good Thing will afford you the opportunity to explore these questions through the eyes and thoughts of Halley, Ty, Alice, and Madeline, among others.
While Milne’s style is easy to follow and descriptive, it might not appeal to all readers. But if you like quality fiction that’s free of profanity and prurient content, The One Good Thing is an enjoyable read, even if it can be a little predictable in some points of the story.
Like works of fiction often do, The One Good Thing sparks examination of real-life topics that face readers today, so have fun discussing the book’s thematic elements with friends and family.
Center Street Publishing published The One Good Thing in 2013. The 384-page book is available in paperback and electronic versions from Amazon and other online retailers.
Fun fact: Milne is related distantly to Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne. On his website, Kevin Milne says, “Ultimately, all Milnes are related if you go back far enough in the family tree. As a side note, good old uncle A.A. Milne pronounced his name ‘Miln.’”
Make note of that pronunciation for the next time the Pooh Bear creator comes up in conversation.