Someday Everything Will All Make Sense follows Luther van der Loon, an eccentric professor of medieval music at a New York university, as he navigates the stages of grief after his 62-year-old mother chokes on a wonton from a Chinese take-out. Luther invokes the American justice system against the restaurant whose "sloppy methods" he blames for his mother's death. He blames himself for failing to perform the Heimlich, a maneuver so simple that a child of six or seven could execute it.
Luther, who spent the entirety of his forty earthly years living with his mother in a co-op apartment in Tudor City, New York, must learn to conceive of a world in which his mother is no longer present. Luther finds redemption in music as he plans the annual symposium for his oddball group of early music colleagues. The novel speaks to the universality of loss and the struggle to make sense of the nonsensical.
"LaHines' tale paints a robust picture of a suffering neurotic stuck in his sorrow, her protagonist recalling a Laurence Sterne character. . .. An admirable addition to that venerable category [of] novels to find humor in loss."- Kirkus Reviews
"An original and very funny novel about a man's obsessive longing and guilt after his mother accidentally chokes on wonton soup. We follow the endearing protagonist through a period of mourning, cleverly interwoven with musical theory and an attempt to sue the Chinese take-out restaurant, all brought to a hilarious finale with a last symposium on medieval music." - Sheila Kohler, author of numerous award-winning novels
"Set in New York City, Carol LaHines' debut novel, Someday Everything Will All Make Sense, combines early music, Chinese food, litigation, and love in a hilarious defense of individuality. . . Luther's irrationality makes him both laughable and lovable. His early music obsession, laced throughout the narrative like a sticky cobweb that won't go away, offers metaphors for love and loss. He feels his mother's memory like an overtone ringing after a note sounds. He and Cecilia "vibrate sympathetically" with each other, like tones in a chord. Luther's healing comes in the company of his zany early music friends and their romp through neighborhood bars. As a backdrop, New York is portrayed not as a place to get lost, but to be found. In its ethnic bars and restaurants, he lets loose to enjoy himself and his mates in all their absurd glory, chanting medieval plainsong over heavy metal playing on the sound system. LaHines' Someday Everything Will Make Sense is a comedy celebrating transformation that happens in its own due course." - Compulsive Reader
"It's rare to find a character like Luther van der Loon who makes such a rich and lasting impression--so vividly wounded, exuberant in characterization. Luther embodies the anxious, angst-ridden neurotic we are afraid we will become, or maybe who we aspire to be. In his grief over his mother's accidental choking vis-à-vis death, his obsession with what is the point of life is simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious. I could read this novel a hundred times and never tire of it." - Amy E. Wallen, author of When We Were Ghouls
Carol LaHines’ debut novel, Someday Everything Will All Make Sense, was a finalist for the Nilsen Prize for a First Novel and an American Fiction Award. Her second novel, The Vixen Amber Halloway, is forthcoming from Regal House in 2024. Her fiction has appeared in literary journals including Fence, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Denver Quarterly, Cimarron Review, The Literary Review, The Laurel Review, North Dakota Quarterly, South Dakota Review, The South Carolina Review, The Chattahoochee Review, Sycamore Review, Permafrost, redivider, Literary Orphans, and Literal Latte. She is the recipient of the Lamar York Prize for Fiction. Her short stories and novellas have also been finalists for the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction from Sarabande Books, the David Nathan Meyerson fiction prize, the New Letters short story award, and the Disquiet Literary Prize, among others.