📚#ShortStory Collection. Terry Reviews Love, Loss And Life In Between by @rogersonsm for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Terry.

Terry blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Terry has been reading Love, Loss And Life In Between by Suzanne Rogerson

Book cover for short stories, Love, Loss And In Between by Suzanne Rogerson. Set against a free photo of a book from Pixabay.
Love, Loss And In Between by Suzanne Rogerson

3.5 out of 5 stars

Ten short stories from fantasy author Suzanne Rogerson, snapshots of lives, some with happy endings, others bittersweet.

My favourite was the first one, Spirit Song, about an old lady called Cecilia and her lute. Short, so atmospheric; I loved it. I also liked Goodbye Forever, in which an abused wife makes her escape. This was most exciting and fast-paced, and I whipped through it. Another favourite was Garden Therapy, with its unexpected plot that unfolded so gradually, and I liked Catalyst, too.

As with many short story collections there were some that appealed more than other; I preferred those with a little glimpse of ‘outside this world’, rather than the straightforward love stories. I would say Ms Rogerson’s talent is in writing the benign paranormal, for sure!

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Book description

This collection of short stories gives a glimpse into life, love, loss, and the inexplicable in between.

Including themes of grief, finding hope and second chances, facing the consequences of your actions and getting help from the unlikeliest of places.

• As Cecilia helps the dying, she questions what happens to their spirits. But is she ready to find out?
• Can a mother’s race through the New Forest save her son?
• Will visiting a medium bring Christina the closure she needs to move on?
• Can an intruder help an old lady with her loneliness?
• Will the start of another wet and miserable Monday morning end with Maeve’s happy ever after?

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📚’Morragh is blessed with second sight and acute intuition’. @TerryTyler4 reviews #ScottishBook Sisters At The Edge Of The World by @AilishSinclair, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Terry.

Terry blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Terry has been reading Sisters At The Edge Of The World by Ailish Sinclair

Sisters At The Edge Of The World by Ailish Sinclair

5 out of 5 stars

What a marvellous book this is. I read it quickly, trying not to whizz through it once I got to the last twenty percent! The title refers to the relationship between Morragh and her sister, Onnagh; they are not birth sisters. Morragh was treated in the most brutal way as a young child, and Onnagh saved her.


The notes at the back of the book tell of the historical facts and theories on which Ms Sinclair has based this story. It takes place in a time before Christianity, when the ancient Scottish Taezali tribe believed in pagain spiritual presences. Morragh, in whose voice the tale is told, is mute – until the events of one spring and summer change her life and that of her community; the men from Rome have travelled north to conquer their villages and challenge every aspect of their existence.


Morragh is blessed with second sight and acute intuition; she is also able to see what might take place in the future. I love this aspect of the book – I am not usually a fan of the fantastical or supernatural, but her gift felt oddly real. Possible.


It’s a fabulous story, a real page-turner and so well written. It made me think about the passage and circle of time, of the constancy of the land on which we live and the transient nature of human life. Loved it. 

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Book description

When Morragh speaks to another person for the very first time, she has no idea that he is an invader in her land.

What she does next constitutes a huge betrayal of her people, threatening her closest relationships and even her way of life itself.

As the conflict between the Caledonian tribes and the Roman Sons of Mars intensifies, can she use her high status in the community to lessen the coming death toll or even prevent outright war?

Set in 1st century Northern Scotland, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD is a story of chosen sisters, fierce warriors, divided loyalties and, ultimately, love.

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📚Time For Some #Horror. Terry Reviews Black Rock by David Odle, For Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Terry.

Terry blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Terry has been reading Black Rock by David Odle

Book cover for horror, Black Rock by David Odle, set against a picture of an tarmac road from a free photo from Pixabay.
Black Rock by David Odle

4 out of 5 stars

The story starts in a classic fashion for this sort of tale – a family en route to somewhere else turns off the road to find a toilet and anything that might ease their journey on a dark and lonely night.  The scene is filled with foreboding, and sets the stage nicely for what comes next.
A curious fellow called Benjamin Clark is threatening the town’s Pastor Thomas Loggins – he knows a secret from Loggins’ past, and will reveal it unless the Pastor pays a terrible price.  Thing is, Clark has done this before.  More than once.  Going back many years…
Some don’t agree with my theory that writing talent is something you need to be born with – you can hone it, develop it or ignore it, but if the talent is not innate, you will have a hard time delivering a story in such a way that makes people want to keep turning the pages.  Which is what it’s all about.  David Odle certainly has this talent – the suspense worked so well, and I was totally invested in the story.  Just two aspects let it down, for me, was that it wasn’t very well edited.  I felt it could have done with another draft or two, and a more eagle-eyed proofreader.  The other disappointment was the lack of resolution about Benjamin.  It’s hard to explain this without giving the plot away, but I needed to know more about his history and motivation than I was told.

All in all, though, it’s a good book, and I’d recommend it for the storytelling quality alone.

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Book description

We all possess secrets. We lock them away. We bury them into the deep recesses of our mind. We go about our day and pretend they aren’t there.

That’s exactly what Thomas Loggins was doing. Going about his days. The head pastor of a small church in a small town. A family man, with a loving wife and a wonderful daughter.

Until one day, that all changed. It began as a typical meeting with a new member of the congregation. But Thomas soon realized this was anything but typical. This man knew things. Things that nobody should know. And he was making impossible demands.

Thomas’s simple life in the quaint town of Black Rock crashes into life or death when the stranger utters, “I know your secrets, pastor, and it’s time to pay the price…”

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📚#LiteraryFiction. Terry Reviews The Gods Of Sanibel by Brian Cook, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT.

Today’s team review is from Terry.

Terry blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Terry has been reading The Gods Of Sanibel by Brian Cook

Book cover for The Gods Of Sanibel by Brian Cook, set against a picture that represents psychology from a free photo from Pixabay.
The Gods Of Sanibel by Brian Cook

An interesting book.  I was slightly put off at the start, because the main female character’s name is ‘Kak’, a nick-name because her initials are K.A.K.  The American author probably does not know that the word ‘cack’ is English slang for something lavatorial, so I winced every time I read it!  


Basically, the story is about Kak and Rudy, who meet at defining moments of their lives.  Kak’s problem is that she does not want to become an appendage to her husband-to-be, a handsome, rich doctor from a wealthy, controlling family.  Rudy is a corporate big shot, and has an epiphany when he sees how company policy has brought devastation to workers further down the chain in the company he makes money for.


I loved reading Rudy’s sections – he was a great character, so likable, and I enjoyed reading all about the hellish world of amassing the billions at any cost.  I was not so keen on Kak, who came across (to me, anyway) as dithery and self-indulgent and, like Rudy, I grew tired of her talking in semi-riddles.  The main problem for me about the whole plot was this: if she didn’t want to marry Phillip, why didn’t she just … not marry him?  There didn’t appear to be any love there.  She could have just walked away.


Despite a few editing errors (names changing, the odd homonym – I think Phillip becomes Andrew at one point), the writing itself is great.  The dialogue is tight, realistic and amusing, with some great throw-away remarks and quips.  This was what made me want to keep reading, as well as finding out what happened.  I found the novel somewhat disjointed at first and kept having to go back so I could work out what was actually happening when – dates might have helped – but it sorts itself out by about 10%.


To sum up – there is a lot of good stuff in this book, but I think it could do with another draft or two.

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Book description

When a suicidal woman enters the five stages of grief at acceptance and traps herself there she must force herself backward through depression, bargaining and anger to reach denial in time to save her own life.

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🏞 A #Mystery Set In Scotland. @TerryTyler4 Reviews The Way Light Bends by Lorraine Wilson @raine_clouds @LunaPressGlobal For Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Terry.

Terry blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Terry has been reading The Way The Light Bends by Lorraine Wilson.

Book cover for mystery, The Way Light Bends by Lorraine Wilson, set against a photo of clouds from a free picture from Pixabay.
The Way Light Bends by Lorraine Wilson

4 out of 5 stars

An interesting and unusual book that centres around two sisters: the unconventional, wildhearted Tamsin who cannot come to terms with the death of her twin brother, Rob, and perfect Freya, the older sibling with the perfect husand and perfect job. Then, a year after Rob’s death, Tamsin disappears without trace, as does her boyfriend, a curious and shadowy figure about whom nobody knows anything much at all.

The book is written in two time frames, and from two points of view – Tamsin tells her story in the first person, gradually letting the reader into the turmoil in her mind, and showing what led up to her disappearance. Freya’s sections are told in the third person – these are good choices, just right for the story. Freya’s account shows her own, deepening turmoil as she grieves for Rob and becomes obsessed with finding Tamsin; she feels increasingly isolated, and begins to question everything about the way her family lives.

The setting is Scotland; Perth, St Andrews and a couple of other locations. Tamsin and her friends worked in the grounds of old country house, and ran ‘forest schools’ for children; I loved all the detail about this. The novel is beautifully written and flows so well.

Any negatives? Sometimes I felt the descriptive passages were a little long-winded, when I wanted to get on with the story and find out what Tamsin’s mysterious boyfriend was all about, and I was underwhelmed by the ending, which I thought a little wishy-washy after the build-up, but I did enjoy reading this book; much of the prose has an almost poetic, ethereal quality to it, reflecting the subject matter, and certainly the author should be proud of it.

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Book description

Sometimes hope is the most dangerous thing of all.

When their brother dies, two sisters lose the one thing that connected them.
But then a year after her twin’s death, Tamsin goes missing.

Despite police indifference and her husband’s doubts, Freya is determined to
find her sister. But a trail of diary entries reveals a woman she barely knew,
and a danger she can scarcely fathom, full of deep waters and shadowy myths,
where the grief that drove Tamsin to the edge of a cliff also led her into the
arms of a mysterious stranger … A man who promised hope but demanded
sacrifice.

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📚’A nicely rounded-out novel with complex relationship dynamics. @TerryTyler4 reviews The Forever House by @LindaAcaster, For Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Terry.

Terry blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Terry has been reading The Forever House by Linda Acaster.

The Forever House by Linda Acaster

4 out of 5 stars

Carrie and husband Jason spent their time buying, renovating and selling houses – but this one Carrie wanted to make their ‘forever house’.  Alas, Jason died shortly after work began, leaving her in an emotional wasteland, unsure how she felt about anything at all.  Their only son lives in Australia; she Skypes with Dominic and his family, but it’s not enough.  Then there is Louise, Jason’s magazine-perfect, high-flying sister, who is suffering too … but she and Carrie are worlds apart.


The plot unfolds when Carrie finds drawings beneath the plaster in one of the bedrooms, that make her want to find out more about the house’s owners of possibly a hundred years ago.  Her obsessive interest in them is surely a means of filling the gap in her life, though she doesn’t see this.


I did enjoy this book, and read it in just three days.  It’s so well-written; for a while at the beginning it moves slowly, with much detail about Carrie’s uncovering of the clues to the family long departed, but I was still engrossed.  The story did not develop as I was expecting it to – it turned out to be something completely different to what I thought I was reading.


This is a nicely rounded-out novel with complex relationship dynamics; the character of Louise I found particularly interesting (though her life depressed me!).  I would recommend it to older readers who like to read about a main character of a ‘certain age’ representative of older women in the 21st century, and who enjoy a decent mystery and solid, absorbing storytelling.

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Book description

A chilling discovery. A sense of foreboding. They say I’m obsessing. I’m not.

Resisting family pressure to sell the too-big house Carrie and her late husband began to renovate, she is determined to carry through their shared project to prove she can manage alone.

And she can, until a discovery beneath old wallpaper chills her to the bone.

As her need to know more becomes all-consuming, Carrie’s family fears she’s tipping into irretrievable obsession. Can she be dissuaded, or must she take that final step?

How far is too far to right a wrong?

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📚’Every part of the Mud Man’s recovery and development felt authentic.’ Terry reviews #scifi The Mud Man by Donna Marie West, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Terry.

Terry blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Terry has been reading The Mud Man by Donna Marie West.

Book cover for science fiction, The Mud Man by Donna Marie West set against a background of dried mud from a free photo from Pixabay
The Mud Man by Donna Marie West

An interesting book!
What I liked:

  • The story idea; it was the blurb that attracted me.  What a great premise!  Wanting to know what would happen kept me reading all the way through.  I thought the gradual, slow way in which the man’s recovery was described was very well thought-out.
  • The fact that the author made something that sounds crazy unrealistic come across as totally feasible.  I was impressed by this from the beginning.
  • The amount of research that has clearly been done, into every aspect of this story, and the way it was woven seamlessly into the text; I never felt as though I was reading Ms West’s research notes, as one sometimes does.  Every part of the Mud Man’s recovery and development felt authentic.
  • The ‘easy read’ quality of the book; the scientific aspects are explained so that anyone can understand them – and learn something.  I found some of the explanations most interesting.
  • The ending: it was fitting, and I’m so glad the author didn’t make it schmaltzy.

What I was unsure about:

  • The tone of the book, which is a little twee at times and I felt would be more suited to light ‘women’s fiction’ or even a sweet romance.  The writing style didn’t seem right for a book about this subject matter; Veronica didn’t come across as a respected academic, to me.  
  • There was too much mundane detail.  If a character is having a day at home, we don’t need to know what she did unless it is plot relevant, or pertinent to her character development.  Lists of information telling us what she ate for breakfast, that she rang her mother, cuddled her ‘kitties’, then ate such-and-such for lunch, etc., come across as superfluous.  There was too much needless detail about what people ate and drank, throughout.
  • Mud Man Dom’s way of speaking.  Surely the amount of time he spent with people educating him would have resulted in him able to speak in more than childlike monosyllables, which became monotonous to read after a while.
  • How some characters are described as ‘African-American’.  It seems odd, if you’re not also pointing out every time someone is of Asian or Caucasian origin.
  • The way in which Veronica (and others) looked on Dom as subject matter to make her rich and respected in her field, even down to exposing him to the hell of TV and chat shows.  

Having said all that, I did want to keep reading, all the way through, because of the storyline itself.  It’s not a bad book at all; I just think it needs a firmer hand!

3.5 stars.

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Book description

When anthropologist Veronica Booth is called to consult on a dig in northern British Columbia, she expects to discover the usual remnants of early indigenous life. She never imagined finding a man preserved a metre deep in a thawing bog. More shocking still—he’s alive, albeit barely. The mud man, as Veronica initially thinks of him, matches no missing person reports, and his DNA is like nothing on record. Radio-carbon dating of his clothes and items found with him suggest an impossible age of 9,500 years! As he slowly recovers, the mysterious man reveals a host of surprises, stunning Veronica and those growing close to him. But can a man who lived a millennia ago adapt to life in the modern world?

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🪑#psychologicalfiction Pride’s Children: Purgatory by Alicia Butcher Ehehardt. Reviewed by Terry for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Terry.

Terry blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Terry has been reading Pride’s Children: Purgatory by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

Book cover for Pride's Children: Purgatory by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt, set against a background of a couple in silhouette at a coffee tabel from a free picture from Pixabay.
Pride’s Children: Purgatory by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

4 out of 5 stars

Kary is a writer with more than her share of emotional baggage.  Andrew is a charismatic leading man, while Hollywood princess Bianca fears that her star might be fading, and hopes to keep it shining alongside the presence of Andrew.
Kary suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and this novel certainly gives the reader an insight into what this debilitating illness involves, and the restrictions it imposes on the life of the sufferer; also, I felt it gave the story an unusual slant.  Kary can’t afford, emotionally, to fall in love, but she reckoned without meeting Andrew on a New York talk show – and then the New Hampshire town where she lives is chosen as the venue for Bianca’s new film; here the three lives become emotionally entangled.
Ms Ehrhardt has such an entertaining writing style, easy and conversational.  The narrative is presented in alternate points of view of Kary, Andrew and Bianca, enabling the reader to immediately connect with each of them – my favourite structure.  Pride’s Children: Purgatory is the first of a trilogy, but is complete in itself.
At times I felt the book could have used a tighter edit, to remove some of the detail that slowed the story down, and just to make the narrative more succinct, but it’s still well-written and a jolly good story.

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Book description

Reclusive ex-physician Kary Ashe transmutes personal tragedy into beloved best-selling novels. Actor Andrew O’Connell revels in the enviable status of leading man, with a reputation for perfectionism, an Irish temper, and broken hearts in his wake. Reigning Hollywood princess Bianca Doyle fears she’s already past her peak, and schemes to cement her position in the pantheon with Andrew as mate.

When Kary appears on a NY talk show to support a cherished cause, and becomes obsessed by fellow guest Andrew, movie star, she thinks she’s safe because she will never see him again. While Bianca, watching the show from far-off LA, is confident she can offer Andrew her own coveted insider rank.

But his next movie is filming near Kary’s Sanctuary, with Bianca as costar. Can Kary risk friendship with this intriguing man? Or will Bianca seduce him and meld her star to his? And will either ultimately satisfy Andrew’s twin lusts for fame and love?

Pride’s Children PURGATORY is a powerful literary debut. You don’t read PURGATORY, you live it. A deeply psychological experience, without flinching, from the driver’s seat right behind the eyeballs of three passionate people who can’t all get what they want. The choices, the devastating decisions, the consequences are all presented with the intimacy of a conscience. Ehrhardt conveys to you the gut-wrenching secrets of a disabled writer at the peak of her powers, a charismatic actor waiting in the spot where lightning strikes, and a ruthless woman who sees a golden future if she can but stick the Hollywood landing once and for all, as if you were wearing their skin.

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🛸’A fine example of the #postapocalyptic genre.’ @TerryTyler4 reviews What Was Once Home by @B_K_Bass, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog🧟‍♂️

Today’s team review is from Terry.

She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading What Was Once Home by B K Bass.

Book cover for What Was Once Home by B.K. Bass set against an orange sky and a green bridge
What Was Once Home by B.K. Bass

4.5 out of 5 stars

Jace Cox is a young teenager when the ‘twigs’ invade – and after one August day in 2034 his life will never been the same.  Fast forward a few years and he’s part of the militia fighting against them.  A few more years, and the town of Lewisburg has been reclaimed by its inhabitants, with Jace as its the sheriff – but the troubles are far from over.

Although I’m first in line when it comes to a post apocalyptic book, I wasn’t sure I’d like one about an alien invasion, thinking it might be too comic book-like.  But this isn’t.  B K Bass has made the subject totally convincing, and I really enjoyed it.  It’s got a great structure that kept my attention throughout – although the main story is told from Jace’s third person point of view in the early 2040s, there are occasional flashbacks to earlier, and also excerpts from the autobiography he wrote as an old man.  Aside from this, I loved the ‘interludes’ – sections told from other points of view in other areas, for a wider look at the situation.  These diversions from the main story were perfectly placed, and I could see how well thought-out the whole book is.

Bass has an easy writing style, creating good dramatic tension with a feeling of foreboding.  Every aspect of the book feels feasible, from the people who take charge in the new Lewisburg, those who want to be guided and given instructions, the fighting force, to the independent who want to do their own thing outside the walls – and, of course, the opportunity for the power-hungry to take over.

One small aspect I appreciated was how Jace, having been so young when the twigs arrived, knew little about life outside his immediate environment.  At one point an older person referred to a settlement as a ‘hippie commune’, and Jace didn’t know what he meant.  I loved that!

This book gives food for thought about war versus murder, what is ‘right’ when it comes to defending your home and your people, what it takes to live in harmony alongside those who are different from you, and leaves a couple of unanswered questions, which made me think that another book, perhaps after Jace’s time, would be most welcome.  I’d most certainly recommend What Was Once Home as a fine example of the post-apocalyptic genre.

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

When his world is suddenly torn apart, one man must learn to survive in What Once Was Home.

Jace Cox’s life is changed when an overwhelming alien force invades the Earth with no warning or provocation. In the years that follow, he must not only fight to survive, but also learn what it means to be a man and a leader. As the situation grows more dire and the weight of loss bears down on Jace, he realizes his greatest challenge isn’t the alien invaders or even his fellow man.

It is holding onto his own humanity despite living in a world gone mad.

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📚Set during the 1970s. Terry reviews #HistoricalFiction Fortunate Son by Thomas Tibor, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT.📚

Today’s team review is from Terry.

She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading Fortunate Son by Thomas Tibor.

4 stars

Reed Lawson has a lot on his plate – he’s juggling college and membership of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), and his much revered father has been MIA in Vietnam for three years.  Then there are the droves of anti-war demonstrating hippies on campus, calling people like himself and his father ‘warmongers’.


When circumstances lead him to volunteer at a community project giving help to people with drug and emotional problems, he falls for Jordan, a strident feminist and peacenik.  His life also becomes entangled with a younger girl with serious emotional and family problems.


I enjoyed reading this; the storytelling itself is fine, the characters are clear and three-dimensional, and the author certainly knows how to write convincing, appropriate dialogue, a talent I believe is innate – I didn’t wince once, which says to me that the knack probably comes naturally to him.  Reed’s conflicting emotions about his father, and his reaction to discoveries about his parents, were extremely well written.  Also, there were a few excellent passages about the time and feel of the era:


‘The interstate had opened a few years ago.  Motels, fast food joints and gas stations mushroomed at each exit, sprouting garish oases in the rural countryside.  His mother hated the trend, predicting the country’s regional charms would be bulldozed in a few decades to make way for chain stories and restaurants that peddled the same brand of blandness in every state.’


‘He felt a kinship with all who’d travelled before him on thousands of miles of highway, which had replaced dirt roads, which covered trails hacked from raw wilderness.  Generations of restless Americans, forever on the move.  Pushing west, pushing south, yearning to go anywhere that promised to be better than where they came from.’


Although it’s a good book and I liked it, I thought it could have been cut down by about ten per cent to make it tighter; it’s quite long, and a fairly slow unfolding.  Also, the reminder of the era’s culture was a little over the top – the frequent indication of what song was playing on the radio or floating out of a student’s window, the way everyone’s conversation revolved around drugs, Vietnam, feminism and their own existential crisis, constantly.  It became a little repetitive after a while.
Having said that, I would most definitely recommend it as a solid human interest novel and a good story, particularly if you remember or have an interest in the era.

Desc 1

Fortunate Son is a coming-of-age story set on a southern college campus during the turbulent spring of 1970. Reed Lawson, an ROTC cadet, struggles with the absence of his father, a Navy pilot who has been Missing in Action in Vietnam for three years. While volunteering at a drug crisis center, Reed sets out to win the heart of a feminist co-worker who is grappling with a painful past and to rescue a troubled teenage girl from self-destruction. In the process, he is forced to confront trauma’s tragic consequences and the fragile, tangled web of human connections.

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