Monday, September 12, 2011
Set during the summer of 1967 in St. Louis, Missouri, A Taste of Honey begins like a nostalgic tale that your father, uncle or grandfather would recount to you of their childhood. It's personal, intimate, reminiscent. Set around the fictional neighborhood of Gateway City, it includes a cast of characters and their stories. Nine-year-old Crispus Jones is at the heart of it all. Struggling with being the youngest of three boys, Crispus can't help but feel lacking. Both his brothers seem to have gotten all the good looks, charm and bravery. Teased relentlessly by his handsome brother, Schom, a sensitive Crispus stumbles through his awkward pre-teen years.
There is Rose. Her beautiful singing voice can hush the birds twittering, and entrance a whole audience but behind closed doors she is the victim of abuse at the hands of her husband. Downtrodden and desperate, Rose is at her wits end when a blessing comes her way.
Then there is Roderick aka The Genius. Brilliant and young, Roderick is his reclusive mother's pride and joy. But being too smart in Gateway City makes him an outcast and he's picked on by a gang of neighborhood kids called the Decatur clan. An unlikely person helps the head-in-a-book Roderick realize that there's more to life than just books. Sometimes friendship can make all the difference.
These are just a few of the stories A Taste of Honey shares. There are more characters to get to know with stories, each one as wistful as the one before it, all of them threading together to create a look into a time period long gone. Coming in at 205 pages, A Taste of Honey reads like the title implies; to the point and sweet. The pages are filled with easy prose and vivid characters who are all, as Crispus Jones' mother would say, "going through changes." If you happen upon this book, don't hesitate to pick it up. You won't regret it.
Labels: Book Reviews Posted by Brie