Thirty-one-year-old Marc Nussbaum has visions of enjoying the finer things in life after building a successful landscaping business with clientele from the affluent suburbs of Chicago—no dependents, no commitments outside of work, no worries. And he’s found the perfect woman to enjoy it with him. But when his dysfunctional family members come to him when they’re in trouble, he repeatedly shoves his own life aside to run to their aid.
Falling victim to their helplessness, Marc eventually loses sight of his own dreams and much to his chagrin, his girlfriend. After painful soul-searching and late-night talks with the fetching tenant from downstairs, he must decide whether to continue saving them from their ill-fated lives, or save himself from entering into a life of self-sacrifice and missed opportunities.
Marc eventually realizes his purpose in life and how to achieve self-fulfillment—but the purpose in life that he discovers for himself isn’t at all what he had previously envisioned.
Targeted Age Group:: 16-80
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I like to craft stories that contain thought-provoking plots—particularly ones that challenge readers to survey their own values. Throughout the story, I want readers to ask themselves what they would do if they were in a similar situation. Since so many families have dysfunctional members among them, I thought readers would be able to relate to the main character of this story who is forced to decide between attending to their needs or his own.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Being a planner when it comes to writing novels, I first develop the plot, then the characters. In this book, the plot called for a protagonist who wasn’t sure of his purpose in life, was sensitive to others’ needs but needing fulfillment in his own life as well, struggled with having to face problems he didn’t want to face, and was impatient and impulsive. The story line also called for very needy family members who relied on the protagonist to bail them out of one situation after another, and so they were born from that need.
A sense of calm and ease fell upon him as he left his Chicago Lakeview neighborhood with his girlfriend by his side. He and Gabby had been dating for eighteen months, spending weekends together for the last six. At thirty, Marc was living the good life—single, successful landscaping business owner, completely unencumbered—and he didn’t see himself settling down any time soon.
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