Saturday, August 20, 2011
Kings of Colorado
Alysa is all wrapped up in preparations for the India Festival, so I told her I would write an entry. Look for her to review some books soon!
My new favorite author is David E. Hilton. I just stumbled over this book in the new books section of our library. Liked the cover, the title, figured what the heck. What the heck is right: this guy's writing is clean, concise, engaging, and full of voice. What a simple and powerful story teller he is. I was so surprised by the way he wrote this tale, and I had a hard time putting it down from the start.
A rather grim tale, Hilton's Kings of Colorado frames the gruesome life of 13-year-old Will Shepard, whose father repeatedly beats and injures both Will and his mother. Will hits his breaking point, injures the father, and for punishment, gets sent to a working ranch in the Colorado high country. For those of you who know a little about my history, I loved growing up in Colorado. However it is not the scenery and place that so captured me in this book; rather it is the development of relationships and the being true to self that so shine loudly here. The ranch is a place of continuing power imbalances, where adults tell what to do and the boys do what they are told. Beatings and disrespect are routine, and fights between boys consistently occur. But somehow, with the ranch's nurse serving in a stellar role, a few of the boys find their way to truth. Several of the boys become fast friends with Will, and even amidst great trials, Will continues to find his way back to being who he was born to be. The book has a surprising ending, one that I really appreciated.
Salvation: how possible is it for us to make mistakes in life and still find our ways to living who we believe we are meant to be? It is books like this one that reminds me I am not so far off the dreamer's path as I thought.