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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Childgrove is a work of fiction in the time travel, historical fiction, adventure, and interpersonal drama subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience. Penned by author John Corbin Goldsberry, this captivating tale transcends time and reality, weaving together the lives of two young boys separated by decades but connected by a mysterious bond. In the summer of 1966, nine-year-old John is drawn into a compelling mystery that unravels truths hidden since his birth, while across the years, in 1914, another boy named Edward grapples with haunting family secrets. As their dual journeys unfold, the narrative explores themes of tragedy, redemption, and the enigmatic nature of time itself. Set in old St. Joseph, Missouri, the novel invites readers on a thought-provoking voyage through a tale that blurs the lines of reality, challenges perceptions, and leaves lingering questions about the nature of existence and connection.
Author John Corbin Goldsberry has crafted a gripping and atmospheric work filled with historical touches, cleverly interweaving the lives of John and Edward to create a tapestry rich in emotion and depth. There is so much heart and soul put into the character work of this story, offering close narratives of two young boys growing up and exploring identity in a difficult world. As a result, the exploration of themes such as family secrets, identity, and the passage of time resonated deeply, prompting introspection and contemplation long after turning the final page. The novel's unique blend of historical fiction and speculative elements kept me engaged throughout. The brilliant descriptive lexis and atmosphere building offered an immersive experience that transported me to the fading glory of old St. Joseph, while simultaneously traversing the enigmatic realms of time and consciousness. Overall, The Childgrove is a poignant and compelling read that will linger in the minds of readers long after the story concludes. I would certainly recommend it to fans of unique and original fiction everywhere.