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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Bacon Grease & Baseball is a novella-length work of fiction set in the south during the heyday of 1940s America, penned by author John S. Viccellio. A coming of age tale for a young boy stepping into young adulthood, this heart-warming experience follows the exploits of Charlie Payne. His parents send him to spend a summer with Gramby, his grandmother, hoping it’ll offer him a wealth of wonderful new life experiences in a small town with lots of outdoor pursuits. What results for the reluctant Charlie is an awakening to new joys in life and new relationships outside his own little bubble of childhood.
Intelligently and emotively written, this is a story that fans of coming of age tales are sure to enjoy in the nostalgic wordplay and general atmosphere of author John S. Viccellio’s work. Charlie’s story is both unique to him and expressive of others undergoing the same experience at once, brewing up nostalgic memories for older readers and also conveying the same out-of-place and new-kid-in-town feelings that many of us know and share today. His bond with his grandmother is effectively expressed through highly realistic dialogue and physical description, emanating true warmth from what begins as a very reluctant coming together of souls. I was particularly impressed by the use of senses throughout the tale, evoking powerful sensations not just through sight, but sound, touch, smell and taste, for that fully immersive experience of the past. Overall, Bacon Grease & Baseball is a highly recommended nostalgic drama read.