Elk River

A Novel

Fiction - Drama
341 Pages
Reviewed on 10/30/2011
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite

Living in Chicago fourteen year old Howie Smith always looks forward to the time that he and his family head to his grandparents farm for the summer. While Howie and his brother Bill who is nine and his mother Anne spend the summer at the farm his father Doug can only come up on the weekends because of his job with the Chicago Tribune. A story set during a time when things seemed much simpler, but were still complex that allows us a glimpse of family and friendships, living and dying and a look at the way things were in 1956.

The author weaves a story that easily transported me back in time.The writing really pulled me in with descriptions and imagery that made me feel like I was right alongside the characters. I could just imagine Howie and his family anxious for to leave the city each summer and head back to the farm. It was always exciting and there was always something to do. The only thing that Howie and Bill didn't look forward to was spending any time with their alcoholic aunt who was often belligerent. There were plenty of interesting characters that kept the plot moving along with this one. I thought Uncle Frank, while a bit eccentric taught Howie a few life lessons.As the author provides the back stories of the characters we learn of the loss that goes along with living. The different characters added layers to the story that made the story come to life. I found it quite interesting to read about the migrant workers and how they lived and traveled from farm to farm. Overall I loved the time period and setting of this story, but strong characters and a plot that allowed me to feel as if I was a part of Howie's family really kept me reading!