Editorial: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Año de publicación: 2012
Condición del libro: Good
Skillfully combining wit and southern sensibility, 14th delivers a delightful look at life in 1960s Galveston, and an inspiring message that resonates in today's hectic world. When Bud Ritter and eight siblings gather to lay their mother to rest, gentle sadness blends with vibrant memories of carefree, youthful days on Galveston Island. The former Ritter homestead, an aging abode on 14th Street, becomes the focus of humorous, poignant, and occasionally painful recollections. The Ritters begin to realize that the house still exerts an intoxicating influence over them. As a plan is hatched for the entire family to explore the home they left behind long ago, Bud wrestles with something amiss in his life, and is troubled by frustrating attempts to reconnect with a boyhood pal. Bud has a pretty good life...but loose ends keep popping up. With an honest, funny and often irreverent perspective, Bud tackles his shortcomings and emerges with a life-affirming message. Set in a seaside community, infused with the flavor of a turbulent era, 14th mixes raw emotion with a sand-between-the-toes look at a time when air conditioning was a luxury, kids played kick-the-can, and everyone knew their neighbors. Seen through the eyes of a little boy, told from the heart of a man, 14th is nostalgic and joyful. Sue Cruise’s engaging debut carries us away on balmy breezes to a place where the past is undeniably magical, and today just might be the someday we’ve all been waiting for.From Kirkus Reviews:
In Cruise’s debut novel, the death of a middle-aged Texan’s mother prompts him to reflect upon his childhood.
Linus “Bud” Ritter (named for the Peanuts character) and his siblings gather after their mother’s death shortly before Christmas 2008. Fifty-one-year-old Bud is a real estate agent and his wife, Franny, works at a junior high school. He and Franny discuss mortality and their life choices, including not having children; as a teen, Bud fathered a daughter who was given up for adoption. Before the funeral, he and the surviving Ritter siblings, known as the Nine, reminisce about growing up in the 1960s in Galveston, Texas. Money was tight, but times were good in their little house on 14th Street. Serendipitously, the home’s current owner allows the Nine to wander through the house one last, wondrous time. The author delivers a cohesive account of childhood, warts and all, and the enduring significance of a childhood home. Despite the novel’s brevity, Cruise crafts a realistic relationship among the Ritter kids and especially between Bud and Franny, whose married-couple banter rings true. The book teems with humorous expressions such as, “Christ on a cracker, I think I'm gonna blow!” and “I’m more of a holiday Catholic.” Anecdotes from the Nine’s collective childhood are similarly inventive and include a near-disaster by fire in a Christmas tree fort, averted by “The Patron Saint of Untoasted Children”; “The Legend of Lunchtime Horror”; and a fun-filled flight through a parking lot on a runaway grocery cart. The novel’s occasional serious moments are touching but not maudlin. Among its poignant comments is that today’s children don’t play much outdoors anymore; video games have trumped swings and slides. This novel may hold little appeal for readers in their 20s or early 30s, but it will likely engage and enchant Baby Boomers who remember their childhoods fondly.
A nostalgic little gem of a novel, with a quietly powerful message.
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