Author: Kevin Craig
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Published: July 6, 2012
Format: PDF review copy
Pages: 119 PDF pages
Source: Received from the publisher
in exchange for an honest review
Read: October 26-27, 2012
In A Few Words: Soulful, secretive
My Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads: Add this to your TBR shelf
One morning he discovers the famous folksinger, Teal Landen, asleep on the sofa. Teal’s nurturing nature brings an immediate sense of security into Sebastian’s tumultuous life. But a dark secret looms between Teal and Sebastian’s father of a hidden past. Sebastian is driven to discover their secret, but also he’s aware of how tenuous their hold on Teal really is. He doesn’t want to lose the feeling of home Teal’s presence has brought him.
If Sebastian pushes too hard, he could lose Teal forever. He could be destined to raise his younger brother alone, while witnessing the total decline of his emotionally devastated father. If Sebastian is abandoned by the only healthy influence in his otherwise shaky existence, he will also be forever in the dark about the secret that will reveal so much about his fractured family.
When you first start reading, you're somewhat shocked at how Sebastian, also known as Sebby, seems so mature and together for an 8 year old. You first meet him when he's cleaning up after his father's wild parties, and caring for his 4 year old brother Renee, because his father's somewhat hopeless after his mom left them. He has so much responsibility that a child of his age shouldn't have. You can tell just how much these responsibilities have affected him because he seems so much older than 8, especially in his descriptions of how he feels and what he wishes he had in his family. I felt so bad for him.
He knows that his mother walked out because they weren't enough for her, she wanted more out of life. She basically told Sebastian, in not so many words, that he wasn't enough, so she had his brother, because she wanted to have a "re-birth" Only that didn't work, so she walked out on them. That's a lot to live with for a kid so young.
Personally, I was really drawn to Sebby because I know what it's like to feel like you're not enough, and not good enough, and be told as much, even if not in so many words.
Then, Teal makes his way into their lives, and things get to be a little better, though there are still some major disappointments.
Teal is a major player in the novel, even though he seems like he might be a fringe character at first. There's something magnetic about him, that makes you as a reader want to know him just as much as Sebastian does. Maybe the magnetism comes from the fact that Teal is a musician, quite a famous one in Canada, where the book is based. Plus, in addition to his personally secretive nature, he's harboring secrets that impact the family in a major way. I won't spoil any of them here, but lets just say that the explain a lot, and they make the end of the book pack a particularly heart wrenching punch.
The writing style flows easily, and the transitions are really smooth, which I really appreciated. The characters are excellently described, so that you can see them in your mind's eye. I could picture Mrs. Clark, the owner of the corner store particularly well. Even the minor characters, who are only around for a chapter or two, are easy to picture. And so are the events and scenery. This book made me really want to have the chance to see The Eaton Centre in Toronto at Christmas.
The major lesson I came away with from this book is that most of the time, keeping secrets hurts more than it helps. And if they've been kept too long, it'll may be too late to repair the damage once they're out in the open.
Just a warning for anyone who gets squeamish easily there are some violent scenes that involve some blood, but nothing major. I just wanted to put that out there as a small warning to people who are particularly sensitive to that sort of thing.
This is an excellent book about family, secrets, music, and the different kinds of love that we experience in our lives.