Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Review - Waiting for Pops: A Journey from Boy to Man by John Philip Riffice

Waiting for Pops: A Journey From Boy to Man

ISBN-10: 1935636952
ISBN-13: 978-1935636953
Page Count: 340
Copyright: 2011

Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

Waiting For Pops is a tale of a young boy’s appalling mistreatment at the hands of his alcoholic mother. It is a tale of spousal secrets and parental lies. It is a tale of love, friendship, and, above all else, betrayal. Pops is seen through the eyes of an innocent boy growing steadily into manhood in 1950s Chicago. Johnny Ryba tells his story and transports the reader into his small, blue-collar existence—his mother’s alcoholism, his much-loved father’s sudden death in an auto accident, his beloved little sister’s autism. Later, as the reader accompanies Johnny into his teen years, they experience as well the painful heartbreak of his first love and loss.

The storyline rapidly evolves and ultimately centers on a mystery that Johnny attempts to solve as a mature adult, resulting in a shocking revelation that reverses almost everything he once believed about his mother and father, as well as his own harrowing past. He inadvertently discovers his parents’ role as accomplices in a lifelong conspiracy of silence, and also becomes aware of a misplaced affection for his deceased father. Johnny must finally come to terms with the most important aspect of his life: the truth about his parents, and about himself, too.

Charlene's Review:

Reading Waiting For Pops is like poignant voyeurism. Through the eyes of Johnny, we are introduced to a family of deeply moving characters. The mother with alcoholism, the hard-working father killed much too soon, the younger sister with autism, and Johnny, the young son left with the family’s mess, just trying to grow up to be a “decent man.”  As Johnny matures, we follow him on a journey to understanding, that changes everything he ever believed to be true in his life.

An emotional tale that pulls you along and keeps you hoping for a happy ending. The characters are well defined, and despite the unspeakable demons they face, come across as painfully human in their struggles. This is a story of the never-ending search for acceptance, and the strength of the human spirit to survive.

5 out of 5 stars!

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