"Gorgeous descriptions and reflective exposition moderate the dramatic pace of this exciting international story of one family's secretive past." Read more of this five star review accompanying the Foreword Firsts debut fiction award!
-Karen Rigby, Foreword Reviews
"'At once an immigrant story, a medical thriller, and a tale of love. Driscoll keeps all the skeins taut in his hand.' Reviewer Kathryn Trueblood put it well and succinctly. In this beautifully crafted novel, Seattle attorney Chico Lenoch makes a succession of trips, the final one with his father, to the Czech Republic to find the half sister he never knew. Father and son are bound to each other and to a handful of Czech relations and the father's former neighbors by a mesh of harsh memories and remembered passions, stretching back to more than forty years earlier when Chico's father fled the Nazi regime with another man's wife. Driscoll's strength lies in his ability to enter into the hearts and minds of a number of varied characters. He writes with hard, spare prose and a poet's artistry; occasional shimmering sentences call out to be read more than once. The dialogue, interspersed with Czech words and phrases, is expertly done. The story is set within a political context that is convincingly rendered. Here is a deftly woven, deeply felt narrative about revelation, loss, family ties, passions and betrayal, coping with the wake of violence and war, and about everyday people trying to sort out right from wrong in complex situations where there can be no moral certainty."
-Katherine Kirkpatrick, author of Golden Treasure
"The story is complex, the characters rich and thick and vibrant.There's love and sex, there's hope and redemption, there's sin and forgiveness, there's death and torture. But, as Driscoll tells us, in the right circumstances '...even torture can be a sign of love."
-Jack Remick, author of Blood, Gabriela and the Widow and the California Quartet series
"With dramatic well-drawn characters, a climax scene with the tension of High Noon, and a peek behind the Iron Curtain, Better You Go Home is a page turner."
-Mindy Halleck, author of Romance & Money - 12 Conversations Every Couple Should Have
"Scott Driscoll's gripping, gritty novel, Better You Go Home, is a mystery, a race against time and a love story with a strong dose of political thriller thrown in. Seattle attorney, Chico Lenoch, is on the verge of renal failure and in desperate need of a kidney transplant. His discovery of a series of love letters received by his Czech father reveals that he has a sister in the Czech republic who may qualify as a donor. As the reader is propelled from the Pacific Northwest to Eastern Europe, Scott offers an insight into a wounded populace whose paranoia is often justified as the brutal nature of the Soviet Block lives on shortly after the fall of the Iron Curtain. As he searches for his sister, family history emerges, secrets are revealed and love blooms in the midst of the excruciating symptoms of a deadly disease.
Peppered throughout with Czech dialog, this vivid novel portrays the squalor and decay of a ravaged country, a living culture rich in history and an intimate portrait of a family that carries the scars of the Cold War years. Better You Go Home is hard to put down. A most memorable and satisfying read."
-Theresa Rose, author of Golden River
"You can all this an immigrant story, a medical thriller and a tale of love. Driscoll keeps all the scenes tight, the action coming and details to the need to know. You are taken back behind the fallen Iron Curtain and the ghosts that still live and breathe there, which are all based off Driscoll's own experiences from visiting this part of the world. The subplots don't distract but draw you deeper into the storyline itself. If you are a fan of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" you may want to pick this novel up as well."
-World of Ink Network
"Like the big Russian novels that gave us moral philosophy, this book raises the deepest questions about freedom and captivity, identity and place. Chico, a middle-aged Seattle lawyer in need of a kidney, vows to use his medical leave to find his half-sister, who was left behind in the old country when his father fled the Nazis with another man's wife. Chico's doctors in the US want more tests before they will grant him a transplant, but he's in Prague where tracing one's family tree isn't a popular preoccupation if it raises questions about what people did to survive the Soviet Bloc. I love the way Driscoll brings Western confidence smack up against Eastern European fatalism. His characters strike me as keenly true, because even they are surprised by what they feel."
-Kathryn Trueblood, author of The Baby Lottery & winner of the Goldenberg Prize for Fiction
"Scott Driscoll's account of one man's struggle to overcome death by leaving the Pacific Northwest to find his half-sister in the Czech Republic is full of intrigue and illicit love within the backdrop of Eastern Europe's tragic history. A fine tale with a most satisfying finish."
-Caleb Powell, I Think You're Totally Wrong: A Quarrel (forthcoming from Knopf, 2014)
"Compelling, unnerving, full of insight... In this odyssey of an American trying to find his past and save his life, we're taken back behind the fallen Iron Curtain and the ghosts that still live and breathe there. Terse with poetry, broad in history (and heart), and all the suspense of an Eastern Block espionage, Driscoll delivers."
-Layne Maheu, author of Song of the Crow
Better You Go Home is a haunting tale of how a diabetic's quest for a new kidney uncovers dark secrets about his family as well as himself.
-Nicholas O'Connell is the author of The Storms of Denali and teaches for www.thewritersworkshop.net
"This book made me thankful to have relatives that live near me. I do not know much about the Czech Republic. This book taught me the history and the fall of the country. I can only imagine what it is like to live in such dire need of basic necessities. The truth of the needy is seldom told. People will do anything to get what they need, especially when they have little to lose. That need is in this book. There are so many different things that Chico sees when he gets there that it is no wonder that Milada wants to use Chico to escape. Everyone has an ulterior motive. Chico needs a kidney, and his dad needs his secrets to stay hidden. Once Chico finds his sister, he gets more than he bargained for. He has to make a decision, and fast. I definitely could not stop reading this book. I had to find out if Chico got his kidney. I also thought that it was really interesting to find Chico's family history in the attic. I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy to review, however all opinions are my own."
-Deal Sharing Aunt (World of Ink Blog Tour reviewer)
"Are Three some things worth risking everything for? Are there some things that have too high of a price? In Scott Driscoll's Novel "Better You Go Home" he answers these questions from the viewpoint of not only a man in search of a lost home from his childhood, but lost family, history, and maybe even his own life? The Main Character, Charles Lenoch, needs a kidney, he needs to find the truth of his father's escape from Checkylslovakia in 1938, and he needs to find his half sister before his kindney's fail. As a diabetic who has gone through kidney transplant, pancreas transplant, blindness and the other trials of the disease, I connected with this character. I know the pain, struggle, exhaustion, and depression that can accompany critical and permanent illness. While these aspects of Driscoll's main character added urgency to the story, it was the enviroment of post communist Checkylslovakia that kept me in the story. The fear, paranoia, bitterness, and even the blooning hope felt very genuine throughout the telling of this story. The advice to go home permeated the checkylslvakian's advice to littner. His passion to do just that while remaining in Checkylslovakia was an interesting juxta-position in the novel. Going home becomes the remaining desire of each character as they explore the true path leading them there. Home is never so distant nor cherished as it is when you are there and still can't find your way back to your family. Better you go home is a tragic tale of loss and oppression punctuated by the deeper understanding of who and what home and family really are."
-Tracy McDonald, from the Writing Blind blog