Goin' Through the Motions

Last Renderin's from a Quester and Rounder

Fiction - Literary
320 Pages
Reviewed on 06/06/2022
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Author Biography

I am a retired teacher as is my wife. Some of our favorite activities are traveling, hiking, reading and with some reservation about adopting something that couples pain with pleasure -- writing.
The writing of Goin' Through the Motions came about from my reviewing my relationship with my late father. In fact, the central character is modeled closely on him. Although his formal education ended in third grade, he could be as insightful in his conclusions about life as any other of us puzzled mortals. However, his southern neck was weighted with a number of prejudices. He was complex. At times, he could be charming, engaging and thoughtful; at other times annoying, aloof and thoughtless. Our relationship was always strained. However, after his death, and as I aged, I felt the need to revisit our interactions through my writing. In doing so, I touch upon a number of life's old conflicts, none of which are new to art--humans and self-discovery, humans and war, humans and nature, and of course, humans and death.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Mariam Tijani for Readers' Favorite

Goin' Through the Motions: Last Renderin's from a Quester and Rounder by Moony McNelly is the story of John Shields, a war veteran whose memories of conflict and his childhood continue to haunt him. His father played a huge role in shaping his future and John was not the best father or a good husband himself. His love for the bottle was painful to everyone around him, especially his wife Myra who longed for his love and attention. He wasn't fair to the women in his life. His Poppa also never respected women. John never received an education although he had a sharp memory. He felt school was unnecessary and when his son could not get his desired job after leaving school, he concluded that schooling wasn't worthwhile. John recollects the choices he made in the past while he was ill in the hospital. He tells his stories from his sick bed and each one has a lesson in it.

I read about everyone in John's life from his perspective. His monologues were humorous, captivating, and sometimes emotional and it was fun to see the world through John's lens. His character is likable although he can be annoying sometimes. Goin' Through the Motions by Moony McNelly takes us through the different stages of John's life, his experiences during the war, the father and son relationship, and lifelong conflicts. I was seeing life from another interesting angle. John's use of English was colloquial and it was great to read his unfiltered thoughts and feelings. It felt as if John was telling me his story in person. It's a wonderful book and I was glued to it till the end. I liked the writing style, vocabulary, and historical references. This is the perfect book for lovers of autobiographies, memoirs, and historical fiction. I can't wait to read another book from Moony McNelly.