Book Review: Pr1me of Life

14 Feb

952272Is a simple life too much to ask for?

Ben thinks the retirement home where he works should be called “Heaven Can Wait a Little Longer While I Golf” instead of Heritage Gardens. But who asked him? He’s just the janitor, after all. Of course, his inept boss, the cantankerous residents, and even his attractive podiatrist friend don’t know one important thing about him: he was recently a cardiothoracic surgeon, not a broom-pushing custodian.

Ben is in search of a stress-free life with a little freedom from the past thrown in. But will it be that simple to escape who he used to be—and all he used to fear?

author picP. D. Bekendam — Author and practicing eye surgeon. Happily married, proud father of two boys. Proceeds from my writing go to help fund my activites in developing countries as I work to bring cataract surgery to the needlessly blind. Feel free to contact me at

My Impressions:

I have a lot of adjectives to describe Pr1me of Life, P. D. Bekendam’s debut novel — zany, whacky, crazy, hilarious and thoughtful, poignant, and touching. Bet you didn’t think a book could illicit that many diverse sentiments did you? But a book featuring a cardiothoracic surgeon turned janitor at a retirement home filled with colorful and cantankerous characters has to have a lot going for it. I really enjoyed this one and recommend it.

Ben is deeply wounded and filled with regret and guilt. He copes in an uncontrollable world by seeking to control what he can. His OCD makes Monk look rational. While he has a number of quirks and phobias (there is a zipper-as-dangerous-object scene that is hysterical), he focuses primarily on prime numbers. From the number of stripes on his shirt to the number of steps he takes, Ben counts his way through life at Heritage Gardens seeing to the needs of the elderly clientele. His past remains secret until one observant resident and a lottery ticket comes into play. From that point on, his carefully constructed order comes crashing down.

Bekendam has written a book that is in turn laugh out loud funny and moving. I marveled at the number of ways he could have Ben’s prime obsession manifest itself — truly inventive. The characters he created are irascible and lovable and might remind you of your own elderly relative (or maybe yourself!). He also does a great job of exploring the nature of God in a world filled with tragedy and death. Although he doubts God’s sovereignty, Ben’s attempts at control fail miserably. There are lots of twists and turns to this story that will keep you on your toes. I never saw the end coming!

Fun and heartwarming, Pr1me of Life is a great book. And Bekendam uses the proceeds from sales to help reduce blindness in third world countries, so check it out! (Please note that one of the more cantankerous characters uses a bit of profanity — totally in character for him.)


(Thanks to Worthy Publishing for a review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.


One Response to “Book Review: Pr1me of Life”


  1. Saturday Review of Books: February 15, 2014 | Semicolon - February 28, 2014

    […] Lazygal (The Museum of Extraordinary Things)32. Lazygal (Game Slaves)33. Lazygal (Split Second)34. Beckie @ ByTheBook (Pr1me of Life)35. Beckie @ ByTheBook (Friend Me)36. Beckie @ ByTheBook (Longbourn)37. Beckie @ ByTheBook (The […]


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