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You Never Know: Tales of Tobias, an Accidental Lottery Winner by Lilian Duval

Monday, August 22, 2011
Tobias Hillyer had a promising future until a car accident claimed the lives of his parents. Abandoning his dreams, he dropped out of college to take care of his orphaned, brain-damaged younger brother. Now in his late thirties, Tobias must struggle to provide for his family, working dead-end jobs that fall far short of the academic career he had imagined.
Then he wins the lottery.
His financial worries eliminated, Tobias anticipates nothing but smooth sailing ahead for himself and the people he loves. But he soon finds that his amazing stroke of luck may threaten everything he holds dear.
Over peaks and valleys, this uplifting journey will challenge everything we think we know about luck, life, and what we value most.

About the Author
Lilian Duval is the author of the forthcoming story collection Random Acts of Kindness. She is an amateur classical guitarist and a survivor of the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Lilian and her husband live in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

Praise for You Never Know
Does chance rule our lives? Or do we overcome chance and rule ourselves? Those are the questions that underlie You Never Know ... Duval's book reminds us all that even in the face of good luck we must continue to take both hardiness and happiness seriously; they come as much from inside as out.
-- Jay Thomas, PhD, Distinguished University Professor, School of Professional Psychology, Pacific University

Goodreads Summary

Tobias Hilyer's life was right on track, perfect; perfection rarely lasts.  In a horrible twist of fate, he loses both his parents and gains a brain-damaged brother.  He drops out of college to care for his poor brother and devotes himself to making do with what he has now.  He works straight through to his late thirties and takes on twins that he never really wanted, until he wins the lottery. 

He imagines, as one normally would, that this is an incredibly good stroke of luck; little does he know that winning the lottery could rank among the worst things that happened to him.  He now has to deal with an immense amount of stress, people asking for money, and constant decision-making.  Tobias does handle this new change to his life quite well.  The reader will enjoy following his trepidations and new satisfactions throughout the novel. 

The characters will keep the reader interested in this story.  Tobias is kind, caring, and patient.  Carmela is a little impulsive, has her heart in the right place, and sweet.  Simeon, Tobias's brother, will interest the reader with his antics and kind exterior.  The secondary characters are also fun to get to know. 

The plot is one that every person in America has likely dreamed of, winning the lottery.  The plot will be the main attraction for many readers.  The author plays the plot perfectly and realistically.  This book is recommended to young adults/adults who enjoy fiction novels that offer a second chance to the main character.

4 Stars


  1. Sarah M said...:

    This sounds very interesting. I read somewhere that winning the lottery rarely improves lifes drastically, so it's interesting to see a book about that.

  1. Krystal Larson said...:

    It is intriguing-the author kept everything fairly realistic after the character wins too