Lottery by Patricia Wood
I'm trying to figure out why I enjoyed this novel so much. It's not the writing, which is fine, but ordinary. And it's not a page-turner of a plot--though it has to be said that I read the book easily in two days. It moves quite quickly and kept my interest at all times. But what I really loved about the novel was its first-person protagonist, Perry L. Crandall. It's hard not to fall in love with him!
I've heard the plot described as "high concept." I guess if you can sum it up in a sentence, it is that. Here's the sentence: a cognitively impaired (but adamantly NOT retarded) man wins 12 million dollars in the Washington State Lottery. From there the story is everything you'd expect it to be. There are good, kind people around Perry, and other terrible people who would take every advantage of his good nature. I laughed, I cried, I experienced the full range of human emotion. Really, it's just a very sweet book with a whole cast of incredibly endearing characters. It was simply a pleasure to read.