"One gripe I had with this book is the meandering plot. I am normally a fast reader, but this book took me an unusually long time to finish. Some readers may not mind this, as some of the side stories and passages are absolute gems.
"This isn’t a book you should race through, as you might with a thriller; you should savor every sentence. The writing is lovely and lyrical. I enjoyed reading the book as much for the author’s use of language as for the storyline itself. The story is quite engaging and Claude is a likeable main character. All of the characters are vividly written, particularly Claude’s friend Tim, who is deaf and an orphan.
"The dialogue is easy to understand, even with the heavy use of rural Pennsylvania dialect. I usually find the use of a dialect distracting, although it was natural and flowing in this case. I felt like I knew these people well and became used to their manner of speaking.
"I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I wish I could have given the book 3.5 stars. The story will tug at your heartstrings. This book would appeal to anyone who likes to read wholesome stories about country life and boys growing up. Actually, I would recommend this book to anyone who appreciates good writing."
Thanks, Carolyn, for this insightful and accurate review. Sample chapters of The Boys of Summers Run can be viewed at Amazon. com
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My reaction to this review? A decently accurate and honest review. Claude’s detours and sidetracks, however, were designed to provide him with tools, insights, (and later) a mature perspective from which to tell his story and those of his boyhood friends.
While Claude is the narrator and first person protagonist, the work does portray the dysfunctional homes other boys endure plus the yearning of one orphan for the grounding Claude enjoys at Shadeland. Hence, the title, The Boys of Summers Run.