Thursday, September 27, 2012

{Review} The Shade Tree Choir by David Nelson

File Size: 433 KB
Page Count: 128
Copyright: August 31, 2012
Publisher: Cowboy Poet Press


Krame suffers the physical and emotional abuse from his alcoholic parents and menatlly ill mother for nearly ten years. As a child, he promises himself he will leave the deprived area and never return. As an eight year old, Krame finds solace with three of his cohorts. He is known by the gang as the "Thinker" because he plans every escapade to the finest detail so they will never get caught. Little do the other three know, Krame does not want to be caught and suffer another beating at home. Things go on like this until tragedy strikes.

The grim truth of Krame's childhood stays hidden for forty years until he opens up to one of his old friends when he returns home to bury his father. In the process of remembering and opening up about his past, Krame discovers his dad was not who he thought he was.

Charlene's Review:

The Shade Tree Choir chronicles the life of Krame and his friends as they grow up in a time when physical abuse of children was a common practice. As the book begins, Krame has returned to the town of his childhood for his father's funeral. As he walks the streets of his old neighborhood, he reflects back on a life under the oppression of a detached mother, and alcoholic father. He also remembers the "gang" of friends that helped him through the good and bad. When he meets up with his old friend, "Bear," he is finally able to find the closure he so desperately needed as a boy, and share some secret burdens that he has held for many years.

Mr. Nelson has written a profoundly eye-opening story about a boy who lives in the shadow of abuse. This is a coming-of-age story, filled with pain and tragedy, and the incredible spirit children are born with, that allows them to overcome such abuse. As much as it focuses on abuse, it is also a story of hope, redemption, and forgiveness. I highly recommend this book, for its lessons, and for its poignant beauty.

*A paperback copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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