When the Crows Fly Low by V.J. Patterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
When The Crow Flies Low is a true love story, as opposed to a romance. This book takes you on a roller-coaster of emotions as you follow the harrowing life-story of Will Lawson. The title is from a family omen “When the Crows Fly Low – rain is coming”, and is a pivotal saying for 11 year old Will.
In 1924 Will and his friend Sam were fishing when Will realises he’s late to help his father on the farm. They live in Doyle, Tennessee. Running home he sees three low flying crows and the old saying rings through his head. He arrives in the field full of guilt that his father had to mend the fences alone, but finds him arguing with a neighbour about ruined watermelons. Joe Cannon is drunk again and the argument turns into a fight, one that Will, will never forget. Distraught and blaming himself for his father’s death Will’s childhood ends that day.
With 8 siblings Will and his family worked hard to keep the farm, but it was finally lost in the 1929 crash. Now a young man, Will works in the local mill, but is part of an illegal bootlegging gang. He drinks hard and plays hard trying to drown out the dark side which rears its ugly head. He avoids large social events and has lost all faith in God.
It takes the arrival of the new school teacher, Sarah Williams to pull Will from the gloom. Like a moth attracted to a light Will can’t get Sarah out of his mind. She brings out the good in him and he begins to thaw and open up about his dark side. However all this comes crashing down when Joe Cannon is released from jail.
This story is told through a letter sent to Sarah in 1982 and the details are filled by her own memories of events, she never stopped loving Will although her life went on and he in turn never stopped loving her. The author does a really good job of pulling the reader into the story and filling them with all the emotions of the characters, a very well written read.
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