Monday, September 16, 2013

{Review} Destiny Gardens by John Harrison

ISBN #: 978-0615829715
Page Count: 350
Copyright: July 6, 2013
Publisher: House Bean Boy

(Taken from back cover)

A disparate group of abandoned kids in the late 1950's band together for survival in a vacant and derelict public meeting hall. In their Dickensian world, they cross paths with Mafia godfather, Charles "Lucky" Luciano, and a sinister New Orleans pimp named Rance Charles who has arrived to reclaim what's his.

In the style of Stephen King's The Body (aka Stand by Me), and the novels of S.E. Hinton, Destiny Gardens opens a door into a world not long ago where the definition of "child" and "adult" was a distinction without a difference.

Charlene's Review:

Destiny Gardens introduces the reader to a group of ragtag adolescents thrown together by the need for survival. Dwelling in an abandoned building, they form their own kind of family life, always a step ahead of truant officers and foster care. Set in the 50's, Mr. Harrison paints a picture of a simpler life, yet one of poverty and social injustice.

Destiny Gardens is an enchanting read from another time in history. I felt as if I was watching the unlikely group through a frosted window, as they attempted to make a life and family out of their own personal wreckages. Through trials and triumphs, the young residents of Destiny Gardens fight to survive, and I felt blessed as a reader to watch as they matured and grew together.

There are many sub-stories that come together to make this novel work, and I felt it wove together flawlessly. Each of the characters had a very separate identity, and brought a vital element to the story. The ending leaves the possibility of a sequel, which I would gladly read. Destiny Gardens deals with a sad reality in a hopeful, charming voice. Definitely worth the read.

*A physical copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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