The Codger and the Sparrow

A Novel

Fiction - Literary
224 Pages
Reviewed on 06/28/2024
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Author Biography

Scott Semegran is an award-winning writer of nine books. BlueInk Review described him best as “a gifted writer, with a wry sense of humor.” His latest novel, The Codger and the Sparrow (Paperback from TCU Press, Audiobook from Vibrance Press), is a comical yet moving story about a 65-year-old widower’s unlikely friendship with a 16-year-old troublemaker. His eight previous books include The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island, which was the first-place winner for Middle-Grade/Young Adult fiction in the 2021 Writer’s Digest Book Awards, and To Squeeze a Prairie Dog, which was the winner of the 2020 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award Gold Medal for Humor. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife. They have four kids, two cats, and a dog. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Gaius Konstantine for Readers' Favorite

Being lonely is harsh; it can happen to the young and old alike. Often, though, it is a choice. Scott Semegran's novel, The Codger And The Sparrow, indicates that loneliness is self-inflicted at times. For Hank O'Sullivan, life has been reduced to killing time in an old-man bar, downing one whiskey old-fashioned after another, until his routine gets disrupted by a fistfight that lands Hank 40 hours of community service as a penalty. As Hank goes to pick up trash on the side of a road, a young teen falls out of a tree and directly into his life. With his new friend Luis, a talented aspiring artist, Hank sets out on a road trip to break his loneliness, and the young man tags along, looking to meet up with a mother he hasn't seen in years. As this unlikely duo travels together, they discover that life does not always give us what we want, but if we are lucky, it does give us what we need.

Concise and well-written, The Codger And The Sparrow by Scott Semegran is an excellent example of a contemporary novel that may one day be considered a classic. The story revolves around two main characters who experience loneliness and grief. Despite their differing reasons for these emotions, both men carry deep emotional wounds. Acceptance, friendship, and forgiveness are prominent themes. Hank and Luis become better people from their time together and learn to make the best of life rather than just accepting misery as a companion. The character development, including that of the protagonists and secondary individuals like Luis' father, is exceptionally well-crafted. The story progresses at a sublime pace, making The Codger And The Sparrow a superb tale that will captivate young and older readers alike, and I highly recommend it.