Finished January 31
Gently Down the Stream by Ray Robertson
Hank Roberts is going through a difficult period in his life. His best friend Phil is becoming successful as a poet, and Phil's new girlfriend is a successful up-and-coming novelist. Hank's wife Mary is the major breadwinner for the couple, successful as a painter, and with a related office job that provides stability for them. Hank's earnings are small and lately, getting smaller. He isn't engaged in the small teaching job that Phil recommended him for.
In this reader's opinion, Hank is depressed. He retreats from his responsibilities, pushes away the helpful overtures from his friends and wife, and engages in late night anti-social behaviour. He has long told others he is working on a book, one related to his degree in philosophy, but in reality hasn't touched it in ages.
Hank's companion through the day, and on most of his late night jaunts is his aging black lab Barry.
Things seem to fall into Hank's life: from jobs to houses to interested women, but he seems stuck in his unhappiness. It takes hitting bottom for Hank to reengage with his life and move forward again.