TLC Book Tours – The Hollow Middle by John Popielaski

Happy Monday! No better way to start the week than with a book tour 🙂

Thanks to TLC Book Tours and the author for the free copy in exchange for my honest review.

THE HOLLOW MIDDLE – John Popielaski

the hollow middle cover

Book Description:

The Hollow Middle follows Albert Lesiak, an aging English teacher in Connecticut, who receives a windfall in delayed acknowledgment of the government’s complicity in his father’s cancer death and decides that it is time to live a different life on land he owns in Maine.

When his wife Mary suggests that they could foster or adopt autistic twin boys she fell in love with on a website and could use the stipend money in furtherance of Albert’s vision, Albert gradually perceives himself as possibly adapting to the role of patriarch.

A meditation on the curiosity of making sense and the dilemma of becoming true, The Hollow Middle ambles, mostly, and goes still for periods of various duration, acting like it’s not beholden after all to the rhetorical.


My Thoughts: 3/5 stars

This was very different than the books I’ve been reading lately. Definitely a change of pace and genre – which is always good to mix it up. THE HOLLOW MIDDLE by John Popielaski is a slower moving novel but continues at very consistent pace. We are brought into the mind of Albert, random passing thoughts and all.

Albert and his wife, Mary, are looking for a fresh start. His dream is to buy a new home in Maine and leave Connecticut behind, and Mary is wanting to adopt twin autistic boys. With all of these changes, we are brought through Albert’s mind and all of his passing thoughts. Whether they be about the possibility of becoming a father at an older age, his drinking habits, or an array of other random passing thoughts – the author paints a very vivid picture of Albert for us.

This does feel random at parts and I can see this not being for everyone. This is more of a characters study and character driven rather than plot driven. I think the writing was great and Popielaski was able to weave a well-paced novel. If you’re looking for a more introspective fiction novel and one that will make you reflect, then I would highly recommend this one!

john popielaski ap

About the Author:

John Popielaski is the author of several poetry collections, including, most recently, Isn’t It Romantic? which won the Robert Phillips Chapbook Award from Texas Review Press. The Hollow Middle is his first novel.

Find out more about John on his website, and follow him on Facebook.

Where to Purchase a Copy:

Unsolicited Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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