Review & Giveaway: The Great Unexpected by Dan Mooney

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a free copy of the book.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

A curmudgeon and his eccentric new roommate join together to plan an epic escape in this charming, poignant tale.

Joel lives in a nursing home, and he’s not one bit happy about it. He hates being told when to eat, when to sleep, when to take his pills. He’s fed up with life and begins to plan a way out when his new roommate, a retired soap opera actor named Frank, moves in and turns the nursing-home community upside down.

Though the two men couldn’t be more opposite, a fast friendship is formed when Frank is the only one who listens to and stands up for Joel. When he tells Frank about his burgeoning plan, they embark together on a mission to find the perfect escape, and along the way will discover that it’s never too late for new beginnings.

Filled with colorful characters, sparkling humor and deep emotion, The Great Unexpected is the story of friendship, finding oneself later in life and experiencing newfound joy in the most unexpected places.


The first thought that came to mind as I read this book was, “Ove.” But, it was different. Then it hit me: Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, Odd Couple and Grumpy Old Men. This book is the literary version of their on-screen relationships, plus a little bit more.

The synopsis doesn’t need any further explanation because it sums up the story and the characters perfectly; the story’s got both humor and snark aplenty. The emotional punch was what surprised me. Sometimes you read a book filled with big personalities, and it falls short. You walk away feeling like something was missing, but you can’t quite place it. For me, it’s usually the heart. The personalities are so loud that there’s no room left for the deeper emotional connection to the characters.

Luckily for us, Mooney was able to create the perfect balance between big personalities and honest human emotion. In the case of Joel and Frank, we saw the layers peel back and got to experience the thoughts and flashbacks that helped round them out. I felt like the balance between their personalities, their shenanigans, and their emotional upheaval was exactly what was needed to take this story from “that was fun” to “that was so much more than I could have expected”. I definitely recommend adding this one to your summer reading list.


And now it’s your turn! I’m partnering with TLC Book Tours and Park Row Books to share a copy of this gem with one of you. To enter is simple: leave a recommendation below of a book that you love getting to chat about with fellow readers. That’s it, easy peasy. Entries are limited to US addresses only, and the giveaway will stay open through Sunday night, 7/7/19 at 11:59 PM CST. Winner will be notified via email early next week and will have 48 hours to respond. Good luck!

Author stats: WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Book stats: paperback, 368 pages, June 25, 2019, Park Row Books Thanks to TLC Book Tours for organizing this tour. Follow the rest of the tour stops Here.



Add yours →

  1. C. B. Schmelter July 3, 2019 — 6:24 pm

    Black Chalk by Christopher Yates!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First off, I love Ove, Secondly, Grumpy Old Men is one of my favorite movies of all time and I’m so glad you compared this to those because I already want to read this and now I’m completely all in. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

    Liked by 1 person

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