It Makes Sense to Me: "I Could Not Imagine Being 18 and---" see for your...: "I recommend this to my friends and anyone else that loves historical fiction", Sandra Stiles Review Redux: 5.0 out of 5 st...
"I recommend this to my friends and anyone else that loves historical fiction", Sandra Stiles
I could not imagine being an eighteen year old with my life ahead of me and suddenly my life is changed drastically. Teddy must find a way to take care of his siblings after their father dies. He does the best he can. The neighbor downstairs is causing problems for Teddy. He needs help so he turns to Father Tim Sullivan. Help comes in many forms including guidance in matters of everyday life. There are moral lessons to be learned seasoned with a touch of Christianity. There were pats where I just cracked up, like the boys jumping on the bed and pretending to be super-heroes. I think the reason I loved this so much was because I could relate to it so much. I remember jumping on our bed with the wire springs and having it collapse on us. I also remember my mom trudging up the steps to reprimand us. I remember tying scarves around my neck and pretending to be mighty mouse as I jumped off our back steps. When my mother was injured in a car accident and spent a month in the hospital in traction, my father put me in charge of my younger sisters aged 11 and 7. I was only 13 years old. I had to cook breakfast and get us ready for school, take care of my normal chores on our farm, help with homework, then fix dinner and take care of the dishes. It was tough. I could relate also because my experiences took place around the same time period.
I felt Teddy's burdens as he tried to hold it all together. I felt his stress and heartache. This was one of those books that had you laughing one minute and then had your heart being squished. This is a young adult book, but I am telling you that adults will enjoy this book just as much. I definitely recommend it to my friends and anyone else that loves historical fiction.
Review Redux: "The Priest and The Peaches"
The Priest and the Peaches by Larry Peterson captures the life of the newly orphaned Peach kids as they struggle in the aftermath of their father's death and plan his funeral. This touching tale of faith and hope offers a glimpse into the lives of this working class Catholic family set in 1960's Bronx, NY. Steeped in faith and laced with humor Peterson's tale delivers a powerful message "to love thy neighbor."
This was an emotional and heartbreaking tale. This dysfunctional family has seen a lot of heart-ache. They lost their mother to leukemia; their grandma stepped in to help and recently passed away. Mr. Peach suffers from grief at the lost of his wife and turns to the bottle. The church and Father Sullivan step into help, but sadly the liquor takes its toll, leaving eighteen year old Teddy and seventeen year old Joanie to care for their three younger siblings. Teddy really steps up and tries to take care of them. Each of the kids is suffering and shows it differently. The youngest, Joey, thinks he is having conversations with his Dad. Add a nosy neighbor named Beatrice, an Aunt named Vera and a couple of drunks, you get quite the tale.
While I found parts of the tale to be rough, like the dialogue, (which might be expected from Bronxites) the overall message and tale was delightful. I enjoyed the lively cast of characters and their antics. Peterson captures their thoughts and emotions giving them depth. This was a quick and easy read that I finished in just a few hours. Peterson provides a touching tale of family, survival, faith, and hope. LYN.
IT MAKES SENSE TO ME
By Larry Peterson
There has been much fan fare over the words in the Declaration of Independence, Pursuit of Happiness. It seems that many folks use these three words as justification for their own agendas. The rationale seems to have taken hold that if a person wants something that makes them happy they have a right (as defined in the Declaration of Independence) to secure that happiness.
Let me clarify something; The words, Pursuit of Happiness, are the last three words of the first sentence in the SECOND paragraph of the Declaration. The first paragraph and following sentence read as follows:
"When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them to another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Here's the thing. It seems that all we hear about are the last three words, Pursuit of Happiness. Thomas Jefferson was a very smart man. He placed the preceding words of, "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God", in the very first paragraph for a reason. He, and all the signers, (who became traitors to the British crown subject to the death penalty upon signing) were giving all who read this document the order in which our value system as Americans would be defined. There is a GOD and the Natural Law is His. Therefore, Pursuit of Happiness followed those precepts. God and His Natural Law came first and everything else followed. There was no question about it. That is the way it was for these brave patriots.
It seems that 237 years later in 2013 the Pursuit of Happiness has become the rallying cry for a relatavistic society in which everyone who wants their own way screams "I am entitled to my Pursuit of Happiness." The words used in the Declaration -- God, Creator and Natural Law -- are not mine. They come from a man much smarter than I could ever hope to be. How come those words are never mentioned when demanding the Pursuit of Happiness? They are not mentioned because it is an impossibility for the Pursuit of Happiness to trump the the Natural Law as given by God the Creator.
The Pursuit of Happiness also involves a common thread that is deeply woven into it. This thread is made up of words hated by many in the year 2013, words such as morality, decency, virtue, honor, chastity, respect and yes, Godliness. These are real words with deep meanings and they do exist. There are many who hate these words today. They hate them because they interfere with their personal wants and desires. But there are many more who hold them in high esteem. These Americans deserve the Pursuit of Happiness also.
©Larry Peterson 2013