The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint
“If I could tell you only one thing about my life it would be this: when I was seven years old the mailman ran over my head. As formative events go, nothing else comes close.”
Seven-year old Edgar Mint is what you might call a “miracle boy”. The son of a drunk, heartsick mother and absentee, wannabe cowboy father, he survives a near-fatal accident only to live a life in reverse. His early years are filled with heartache, hard choices, and terrible consequences while later on he enjoys the sheltered, unfettered, and uncluttered life of a child. Throughout his entire life, Edgar is always being saved and, quite frankly, he’s getting pretty sick of it. But once he finds religion, Edgar finally realizes what his God-given purpose is: to find and forgive the man who nearly killed him.
The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint is undoubtedly one of the most entertaining and immersive books that I’ve read in quite a long time. Udall doesn’t waste a single word on frivolous details or superfluous backstories. Instead, he gives us a rich story that neither lags, stalls, or grows tedious. Every chapter is thoughtful, engaging, and provocative, and Udall takes great care in introducing us to Edgar and slowly allowing us to care about this peculiar and resilient little outcast. Throughout his journey, Edgar meets his share of heroes and villains, teasers and tormentors, bullies and a best friend. He survives physical, verbal, and emotional abuse and faithfully captures every thought and memory through an old Hermes Jubilee typewriter: “I typed because typing, for me, was as good as having a conversation. I typed because I had to. I typed because I was afraid I might disappear.”
I can’t remember the last time when a book so deeply transported me into a fictional world or when I felt so drawn to a character. Edgar’s story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. All too young, he accepts misfortune as his constant companion yet attempts to turn every bad situation into a learning experience. Edgar’s comical take on either the harshest of circumstances or the cruelest of individuals is both pitiful and inspiring. Thankfully, hope runs eternal for our miracle boy and when he finds someone who truly loves and cares for him, Edgar realizes that being saved might not be such a bad thing after all.
*Book cover image attributed to www.goodreads.com