Elliot Serlin is a regular guy with a teenage son and a miserable mom in assisted living. Suddenly Elliot finds out that he’s lost his son’s college fund in a Ponzi scheme, which he has hidden from his wife Marcy, while also overhearing his hateful boss say he’s selling the company and as a result he will lose his job. Marcy complains that Elliot is unambitious, but otherwise there is still love between them. Marcy’s best friend has been flirting with Elliot, and Elliot’s best friend and trainer, his Dominican ‘hermano’ Manuel, with serious problems of his own, advises him to stay away from her. When Elliot happens upon a hidden stash of original paintings sought after by a British Lord, he comes up with a “get rich quick” scheme which he hopes will solve all his problems. Enacting the artwork theft involves getting “professional” help and cutting in Manuel’s underworld friends, secret meetings with Marcy’s best friend, and hugging and dining with Elliot’s mother’s home’s director.
This book evokes the feeling of a modern day screwball comedy with the added charm of Dominican Spanish slang and Elliot’s rationalizing and guilt-ridden internal monologues. Elliot’s unexpected escapades make him feel young again. Although this story was an easy summer read, I preferred Sidransky’s serious fictional title, Forgiving Maximo Rothman.