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This story grazes upon on a number of sensitive subjects. There was the issue of a female doctor, Lucille “Lucy” Armstrong, whose husband left her as her professional standing exceeded his. In addition, her adolescent son resented her because of her work schedule. Adding insult to injury, Dr. Armstrong was lacking in respectable patients as many people in the rural area of Texas refused to be treated by a woman. Then author also deals with the issue of child abuse and abandonment as the reader was introduced to the life of twelve-year-old Pete Solomon. When Pete took pity on an injured wolf dog and got help from a ten-year-old black boy Justin Bell to carry the dog to Dr. Lucy, the author introduced animal abuse, racism and hate crimes into the story.
I enjoyed how the author weaved the story together although I felt she didn’t really delve deep into any of those issues. It was enough for the reader to consider each character’s plight and how they dealt with their lot in life. These four people were outcasts or not part of the acceptable society’s circle, but they found in each other an anchor. Many times, people say blood is thicker than water, but many families are “chosen” or “formed” by necessity. This was one of those times that a makeshift family provided love, acceptance, support and encouragement in a situation where it was badly needed.
Once I started this book, I didn’t put it down. It wasn’t exactly tear inducing but there was a small dose of angsty. I definitely had an emotional connection to the characters because I felt bad for Pete, Justin and for Calvin and Lucy as a couple. That journey to lasting love certainly touched me. There were different kinds of love expressed in this book and it made up for the pain and hatred shown to the characters. There was an encouraging evolution in this book that gave me hope for society today.
I didn’t give this book a five-star rating because while the author did a great job developing the heroine Lucy as well as Pete, but I had a surface grasp on Justine, his father Calvin and Pete’s father. I would have liked more information regarding Pete’s father, especially from his own perspective. Still, this book was really a moving and poignant read.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
It is hard to believe the positive revues I read about this story that explores racial tensions that erupt over the friendship between an African American and White boy in rural segregated community in the United States. It is a story with good intentions, however, the responses of the characters to one another and to situations that confront them, are so naive and irrational that the story just falls flat. An African American boy has an injury and is taken by his White friend to a women doctor’s house to nurse his injuries inflicted by persons angry over the association of the boys. The boy’s father comes to see about the son, and instead of taking his son to his own house or to a hospital, the father immediately moves in with the doctor for a week, to supposedly comfort the boy while he recuperates. The White friend also becomes a guest in the doctor's house in order to avoid a whipping from his father. The actions and the dialogue of the characters are so unlikely and contrived that I could not finish this book. While the story narrators were quite satisfactory, the story appeared to be written by a stranger from another country or an idealistic pre-teen trying to fabricate reality, but doing it badly. This story just does not ring true.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful