Hello again. After a raft of interruptions due to weather, schedules, and my usual winter blahs, I'm back with a review of the book I read yesterday. It's a doozy and I wanted to share my thoughts with you. Thanks for stopping by. Let me know what you think, as always. Pat Dale
I’ve just finished reading Muse Publishing’s RESURRECTION GARDEN by Frank Scully and I have to say it’s a novel well worth your time, especially if you like an occasional stroll into yesteryear. Scully has skillfully woven a story that draws you back to the beginning of the last century, where battle-scarred Jake Turner hunts down local criminals, endures the elements (always a consideration in the northern high plains), and struggles with the war going on inside himself.
An Army veteran with enough accumulated guilt to sink a ship, Turner has given his life over to a part time job of deputy sheriff. For a sparse room to lay his head, he battles bad guys for a boss who’s more into personal politics than getting the job done. Jake loves to make things grow and helps local farmers with their fields and crops when he’s not chasing one fugitive or another. With a perhaps undeserved reputation as ‘the executioner’, his lack of self-worth is painful to watch as he holds his friends at arm’s length.
He rescues a runaway boy, Andrew, but fails to respond to the boy’s adulation of him. Even after his best friend Isaac’s sister Alice comes west, encouraged by a series of letters Jake has exchanged with her, his self-doubt prevents him from seizing an opportunity to settle into a normal lifestyle. Only after he’s apparently run away from everything he loves, does the reader realize that Jake Turner has a plan. In the end, complete with a hideous secret revealed, he gets the scum he’s chased all over God’s creation and the story resolves.
Written in a style somewhat reminiscent of Zane Grey, RESURRECTION GARDEN gathers momentum like an old steam train, until you reach a point where you can’t put it down without finishing it. Yes, the author tells the story rather than showing it, but he is a storyteller and his style fits this mesmerizing saga. As a published author, voracious reader, and one who experienced life through two thirds of the twentieth century firsthand, I can appreciate the ways of the world the author draws us into.
While I wish he’d not thrown in an occasional grocery list as he describes life as it was back then, these little quirks do not take away from the depth of Jake Turner’s story. Overall, I’d say kudos to Mr. Scully for a story well written. And thanks for showing us that, on a clear day in that amazing part of the world, one can indeed see forever. I anxiously await Mr. Scully’s next offering. My rating: Four Stars
Wishing you much good reading, I heartily recommend this book.
Dale Thompson (aka Pat Dale)