Tuesday, August 14, 2012

East of Denver by Gregory Hill

One reason I selected East of Denver as an Early Reviewer is because the main character's name is Shakespeare Williams. The other reason is he returns home to his dad's farm (east of Denver) to bury his dead cat and finds things amiss. Specifically his dad, Emmett, is suffering from senility and the farm is in shambles. My last Early Reviewer was about a daughter going home because her mom is senile. Am I bracing myself for what may come? I think I just like reading about people with old brains.

Shakespeare is a good kid so he decides to stick around and take care of his dad. They're both broke so they plant a vegetable garden to provide food for themselves. After all, Shakespeare's family has been farming since the Homestead Act. This was one of my favorite parts, just reading about them gardening and fixing up things around the farm.

The core of this story is Shakespeare trying to get his life in order while finding a way to care for his dad, and he is really good at thinking of silly solutions for a very complicated problem. At one point in the story Shakespeare decides to rob the bank with some old high school friends. It makes sense since the man who owns the bank used Emmett's senility against him to buy his Cessna for $20. But, you know, does robbing a bank really make sense?

Gregory Hill provides a lot of humor throughout the story, some of it dark. East of Denver is a good summer read for a few laughs and some pie in the sky moments.

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