In The Shadow of The Water Tower

Fiction - Intrigue
418 Pages
Reviewed on 09/16/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Alan Kirby recently retired from a long career at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He attended Ball State University in Indiana as an undergraduate and earned multiple graduate degrees including a Ph.D. in Counseling from the University of Florida. In his debut fictional novel, In The Shadow of The Water Tower, Kirby revisits his own experiences as a young Hoosier and explores the strong bond between brothers.
Kirby lives in Ojai, California with his wife. He can be reached via email at or at his website,

    Book Review

Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite

Alan Kirby’s In the Shadow of the Water Tower is a nostalgic narrative depicting the bond of brotherhood. Joe and Darren Kelly receive an unexpected conference call from an attorney in their hometown. Joe and Darren were asked to return to Glenville, IN, to hear the reading of a will. Why did Uncle Shorty (who really wasn't their uncle, but a friend of the family) request them to handle his estate? Full of curiosity, the Kelly brothers return to Indiana. Unknown to everyone, Shorty had invested very well and had a sizable estate. Shorty loved Glenville. He requested his money to go to the citizens of Glenville, and he wanted the Kelly boys to decide who received the funds. The catch - they had only 30 days to make their decisions. Their choices were not going to be easy. Joe and Darren Kelly’s lives were about to change forever.

As In the Shadow of the Water Tower unfolds, Alan Kirby walks the reader down Memory Lane. Mr. Kirby is a gifted storyteller. Through the memories of the Kelly brothers the past comes to life, transporting the reader into simpler times. Darren Kelly is the protagonist and the narrator. His brother Joe is his foil or side-kick in the story. The bond between these brothers is written masterfully. There is a large cast of minor characters, each adding flavor to the plot scheme. Kirby writes the history of small town America with grace and charm, while simultaneously weaving in the challenges that small communities face in the 21st century. The plot is wonderfully written. Kirby keeps the plot moving with memories of the past blended with today’s ever present realities. In the Shadow of the Water Tower is an excellently written story about life, then and now.