after reading several books re arabic stories which try to explain cultural differences, I wasn't sure I wanted to read another one, however this story is very entertaning and keeps the reader interested in what happens next. the story seems to have insight into the ailenation sometimes experienced by children raised in two very different cultures. the mother character may be an offshoot of the ancient chinese curse paraphrased into "May you have an interesting mother." the ending is a bit of fantasy but who is say that fiction cannot do that , certainly not me. I recommend it a worth the time for the story and the charactersd.
As a native Floridian living in southwest Florida (Arcadia) I grew up knowing about the myths of this story. The book brought insight into the story. I loved the performance of the characters, they are as near to my memories as possible of the stories told by old "crackers" in my family and older acquaintences. The voices take me back and are so authentic I find myself halfway trying to identify someone they sound like.
I think there are two outstanding moments, one is of course, the shooring of Watson by the god fearin' citizens and the other is the confessiion and death of Henry Short.
My favorite character is Luke.
Tough times don't last. Tough people do.
Florida has always been a tough place to survive in spite of it's sort of "paradise" reputation.
If you take time to look at the stats on poverty disease and education, you will realize it is more third world than paradise. The hurricane description in the book is very true. The people who originally settled here tried very hard to make a living any way they could. I am sorry they wasted so many animals and scarce resources but I understand why they did. It was a matter of survival.
I had two brothers and many friends who served in Viet Nam and over the years I thought I understood the war and the politics involved. However I found thid story gave me an entirely different view of the war and some of the true victims, our own soldiers. I will try to persuade my brother to look at the novel but he usually chooses not to discuss his experiences or read about other's intrepretations of it. The novel was well done. It gives a feeling for the complicated emotions and daily lives of the grunts who tried to carry out the objectives of the day for the war. Excellent story - even can be read by girls.
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