Jones, the noticer, is an old man who touches the lives of the other people in a small southern town, revealing things about them that they hadn’t given much thought to. He seems to have special powers of observation, or perhaps he was supposed to be an angel, I’m not really sure. He tells people how to look at their lives with a different perspective, and his encounter with each person causes them to change their lives for the better.
I liked the first chapter of The Noticer, which introduced readers to the young man who acted as the narrator for the book. Beyond that, the problem for me was that none of the people in the book seemed believable, including the narrator and Jones. The couple with marital problems, for example, had such petty complaints that I felt no sympathy for them. The narrator’s life changed because Jones encouraged him to read biographies; I just couldn’t picture that changing someone in real life. Also, the book included scenes with so many different people that I didn’t feel I got to know any of them. They seemed to exist simply to give Jones someone to lecture about how they needed to notice the little things in life in order to be happy. As a novel, it was disappointing.
While based on a true story, it was clearly designed to give a moral lesson rather than entertain. I prefer a book that makes that clear up front instead of using simplistic scenes to make a point. The problems the characters faced seemed typical of those that many of us encounter in life, and the advice Jones gave them made sense, but I don’t think most people respond to lectures from a stranger the way the characters in this book did. This would have been more useful if it was written as a nonfiction, self-help book instead of fiction.
The book is available through the publisher,Thomas Nelson, as well as other places.
Disclaimer: Thomas Nelson provided this book for review. The opinion expressed is my own.