05 February 2013

Book Review: Amy Lynn

Author Jack July comments as Oldsailors Poet at Ace of Spades HQ. He can be found on the infamous Overnight Threads, where I have enjoyed many a comment from him.  Morons, we call each other there, but the commenters on the ONT are anything but. Many of them, it seems, are writing something, and sometimes those things make their way into print. "Amy Lynn" is one of those things.

At first it was only available in print format, and since I had just gotten the smarter-than-me phone with the Kindle app I was looking for electronic books. Then one ONT I found out that it was available as a Kindle book (Oldsailors Poet, Author of Amy Lynn available on KINDLE finally) and went over to take a look. It didn't really seem like a book I would be interested in, but still I downloaded it if for no other reason than to support a fellow Moron.

And then I read the book.

When we first meet Amy Lynn Braxton she is a 12 year old girl growing up in rural Alabama amidst heartbreak and tragedy - in other words, real life. Her older brother Kerry, whom she admires greatly, has just drowned and left her as the oldest child, as well as being the woman of the house following her mother's death some time earlier.

As she dances from tragedy to tragedy she is helped along the way by friends and family. We meet her family, her father Leon, her Uncle Jack and Aunt Carla Jo, her younger brother, and all the other characters in her life that influence her in one way or another, good or bad. Some of those characters come with their own stories, several which are tantalizingly brief and worthy, one can hope, of their own books.

We find that life is not always pretty - in fact it can be downright ugly and brutal - but joys can be found in many ways. Life is a journey after all, and we are privileged to follow along as Amy makes her journey, through tragedy it is true, but also through triumph. As I read the book I found it was less about growing up than it was about redemption. We all are shaped by the events in our lives, but in the end what happens to us is not nearly as important as what we do with them.  That is what makes all the difference.

And then one day Amy finds herself in the situation that she has unknowingly been preparing for her entire life. What she does next is both expected...and yet completely unexpected. She is left with the consequences of her actions and a fresh set of tragedies to deal with. She does so with the help of friends and family, just as she has all along, and so the tale ends with all the strings tied up (even if frayed at the ends and sticking out a bit here and there) and most of the conflicts resolved.  Most, I say, because in real life the story continues.

But that is a tale for another day. Life may continue, but the book, regretfully, does not.

And when I had reached the final page and saw written upon it "The End" I quite literally screamed in frustration. I simply must know what happens next. Must, I say. I MUST know.

I salute you OSP, you magnificent bastard. I have read your book. I pray it is not your last.

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