Skip to UK reviews by clicking HERE

Praise for LOTTERY


“Patricia Wood’s debut novel tickles your funny bone, tugs your heartstrings, and redefines the word ‘fortunate’ all at once." -- Redbook

“Irresistible…A feel-good read.” -- Good Housekeeping

“Wood’s debut is a poignant page-turner…A sweet read about money, relationships, and life.” -- OK

“Sometimes, we all need a little hope. That's exactly what Patricia Wood offers in her debut novel, Lottery.” -- Asbury Park Press

“This wonderful first novel is about a guy who starts off with all the chips stacked against him and still comes out a winner. It’s an underdog novel, and the underdog is a most satisfying hero, for more than any other protagonist, the underdog is the one we love to love….Patricia Wood’s portrait of Perry is so vivid and funny and poignant and joyful that it avoids the disappointing flatness of the predictable.” -- Washington Post

“Certainly it is no easy task to make readers comfortable with a developmentally disabled narrator. But with Lottery, Patricia Wood has accomplished much that is difficult. Rejecting a number of previous literary models, she has created a character who is neither man-child nor idiot savant nor saint, but rather a well-rounded person with defined shortcomings and admirable strengths.” -- San Francisco Chronicle

“Wood tells her tale in simple, lovely language…this is a tale of luck -- and love. Lottery is a reminder of the power of … the perfect, simple word.” -- New Orleans Times Picayune

“Lottery, thanks to the stylistic constraints Wood puts on herself throughout the novel, also serves as a reminder that simple declarative sentences can do the trick in evoking a highly unusual view of the world – Perry's view. -- Seattle Times

“[Patricia Wood’s] debut novel is a warm tribute to the power of simple wisdom and honest-to-goodness goodness.” -- Honolulu Weekly

“This is a sweetly satisfying story.” -- Sacramento Bee

“Lottery is a compassionate look at the triumphs and tragedies in Per's life.” -- Portland Oregonian

“In her debut novel, Patricia Wood asks readers to experience life in an unexpected, sometimes uncomfortable, often humorous way: as Perry, a 31-year-old man with an IQ of 76 who wins $12 million in the Washington State Lottery. The consistent voice and emotional logic of the first-person narration anchors readers securely in Perry's world, gently prodding them to reexamine intelligence, capability and at what point money affects society's perceptions.” -- Miami Herald

“Fear not: This novel about a mildly retarded man who wins the Washington State Lottery is no Forrest Gump retread—we much prefer this (admittedly folksy) narrator to Tom Hanks as a mentally challenged Zelig. Perry Crandall's sudden windfall draws out both the caretakers and the predators; the suspense lies in watching him negotiate a suddenly complicated life. Patricia Wood's mentor, Paul Theroux, lent his literary wisdom to a book that manages to be heartfelt and totally not corny.” -- New York magazine

“Wood keeps the reader guessing as to how the story will end, and the resolution is satisfying. She meets her goal of portraying a mentally challenged person as a fully realized, functioning human being. Perry’s worldview is so charming and fair that by the end, you might think he’s the smartest character in the whole book.” -- Library Journal

“In her debut novel, Patricia Wood defines poignancy in words of one syllable. Lottery is solid gold.” -- Jacquelyn Mitchard

“What I love about Lottery is that it is much more than a novel about a windfall affecting a simple soul - it's a book about a stupendous event affecting a great number of people, all the winner's friends, and especially the reader.” -- Paul Theroux

“An uplifting warm hug of a story that will embrace you from the very first page. Along the way, Patricia Wood gently nudges you to re-think your assumptions about people with challenges. Lottery is a winning ticket!” -- Kate Jacobs

“In Lottery, Patricia Wood has created an altogether endearing character swept up in the most extreme of situations. A testament to the transcendence of friendship and the redemptive power of love, this startling novel is at once funny and poignant. Fans of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon would do well to pick up this captivating debut. I loved it!” -- Martha O’Connor

“Lottery is a great read, packed with wisdom. As the mother of a mentally disabled son, I recognized – and loved – Perry Crandall, the lottery winner who adamantly tells us he is ‘slow’ not ‘retarded.’ Author Patricia Wood gets his voice pitch-perfect, in a debut novel that asks a vital question: Who is really disabled and who isn’t?" -- Barbara Fischkin

“Lottery is a compelling and beautifully written story that will show you how it's possible to have a low score on an intelligence test and still be a genius at understanding other people's feelings and motivations. And you'll learn that having above-average intelligence may mean less than finding happiness with yourself, and the people around you. Lottery is a novel, but it reads like it really happened, right next door to you.” -- John Elder Robison, author of Look Me in the Eye, a memoir of his life with Asperger's.

“Patricia Wood’s vivid portrayal of Perry captures the reality of a life lived with cognitive disabilities. Perry is constantly belittled by those who think he’s incapable of doing almost anything. At the same time he is supported by those who believe in him, what he can do, and who he can be. Lottery does a great job of showing how natural supports, such as friendships and love, make a difference in the lives of those with cognitive disabilities—just as they do in all our lives.” -- Steven E. Brown PhD, Assistant Professor University of Hawaii, Center on Disability Studies, Co-founder, Institute on Disability Culture and author of Movie Stars and Sensuous Scars: Essays on the Journey from Disability Shame to Disability Pride

“Patricia Wood exposes Perry’s vulnerability as a man who must depend on others to navigate the world without making him look pathetic, incapable or worse, stupid. I cheered as Perry remembered his Gram’s tough lessons from childhood and made good decisions for himself, hoping my girls will be able to do the same.

Patricia Wood tapped into the universal fear of parents: “What if I die before my child?” Her examination of the uglier side of families when it comes to money and responsibility is dead-on accurate. Perry’s despicable family gives Lottery a gritty, realistic edge. I will be singing the praises of Lottery to the thousands of autism parents I am in contact with every day.’ -- Kim Stagliano, autism advocate, writer, and mother of three autistic girls

Lottery is a selection of the Literary Guild/Doubleday Bookclub

"The most remarkable thing about Lottery is Wood’s ability to have the reader rooting for Perry from the first pages…The contract between those who belittle Perry and those who nurture and guide him is one of the ingredients that makes Lottery such a success…The poignancy of unexpected kindness and wisdom is what makes Lottery such a winner." -- Mslexia

"If The Curious Incident of thr Dog in the Night-time brought a tear to your eye, this poignant debut will have you weeping buckets…Simple, lucid prose and skilled characterisation combine to make this a profoundly uplifting read." -- Sainsbury’s Magazine

"[a] charming debut…Wood’s book will have you laughing out loud one minute and reaching for your hankie the next.  A real page-turner." -- syndicated review run in - Glasgow Evening Times; Oldham Evening Chronicle; Cambridge Evening News; Swindon Evening Advertiser; Newcastle Upon Tyne Sunday Sun; Colchester Evening Gazette

"It has bags of charm" -- Bookseller

"This poignant novel has a touch of Forrest Gump about it." -- Marie Claire

"A witty yet poignant social commentary where the empty value of money is set against the heart-warming traits of an unquestioningly loyal soul." -- Easy Living

"Superbly written, and moving in its simplicity.: -- Psychologies

"There’s more than a shade of Forrest Gump about this fable of intelligence versus smartness." -- Scotland on Sunday

"Imbued with humour and likeability." -- Guardian

"Part Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-time with more than a touch of Forrest Gump…those who enjoyed Mark Haddon’s debut are likely to fall in love with big-hearted Perry." -- Observer

"A sparky, humorous debut.’" -- The Herald

"A charming debut novel.’" -- Bella

"With hefty echoes of Forrest Gump, Lottery starts intellectually-challenged Perry, who wins $12m on a lottery and suddenly finds he’s besieged by friends and family he never knew he had." -- Mirror

"This is Forrest Gump and Being There’s Chance the gardener rolled into a new character daft enough to teach us all humility and to re-think how clever we really are.’" -- Daily Sport

"Lottery is essentially about graciousness, simplicity and doing the right thing…Perry’s charming company." -- Financial Times

Top of page