Everybody has a story. Family heritage, individual experiences, and personality all come together to form the fabric of our existence.

My Name Is Giles Garstink is a completed literary fiction novel (84,000 words).

This is the story of Giles Garstink, who is beset by an “itch”—a feeling that the world is somehow unsafe; his grandmother, Nana, who as a young woman found herself caught between her rabbi father and German-born husband; and his wife, Margery, who has never forgotten her own family’s tangles with the mafia and a history of abandonment. Set on an apocalyptic stage, the destructive events of the present are a backdrop to an evolving family dynamic.

The novel has four sections. Part I is narrated by Giles, Part II by Margery, and Part III by Nana. The final section comes full circle with Giles telling the story. At its heart this is a character novel. We learn the histories of the three protagonists and come to understand why they interact as they do. In the end, we are all the sum of our moments.

Nana is a no-nonsense, loving, and courageous woman, battling her frailties, and her concern for Giles. Margery is a strong woman who has fought hard to overcome her troubled upbringing and break a cycle of violence and abuse. Giles strives to face his fears headlong, and become a confident, unwavering individual.

The novel explores themes including the importance of storytelling, not only as a means to keep our legacies alive but also as a way to examine our personal histories and how they shape our lives; the importance of overcoming our fears and finding our windows of opportunity in life; the importance of connecting with a few good people; and the importance and value of living life in the moment.

I hope you enjoy the first samples posted as Giles begins the narration.

About the author

My name is Matthew Isaac Sobin and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am a lover of literature and a writer of fiction and poetry. This literary fiction novel was completed in 2014 following my move from New York to San Francisco. I feel that the story of Giles and his family presents a fusion between my East Coast upbringing and my recent experiences in Northern California.

My first published work, The Last Machine in the Solar System, an illustrated science fiction novella, was published on April 11, 2017 by Inkshares.