About The Book:
We all have secrets, every one of us. Some secrets are so precious we dare not lay them aside even for a moment, holding onto them tightly wherever we go, like the sound of trailing footsteps, as close as your own shadow. Then there are those secrets that forever haunt a place, intertwined with the soil, water, and buildings, and sometimes, even a few wild orange groves. Fleeing from such places is pointless; there is no escape- not really. Traditions are a sacred, sometimes too sacred, way of life in the South, invoked to purify or shroud all manner of sin. The murky waters of history surge with deep-rooted families and prominent citizens as if a part a great river, with currents, eddies, and backwashes. The sleepy town of Bedlam, located in rural Harrison County, Florida, is a place of such secrets. On the outskirts of town towers a high school. For three quarters of a century, it stood as a threshold of the wild orange groves beyond; but its days were numbered. After a politician’s death and a notable act of God, the closing of Orange Groves High School becomes the harbinger of things best left undisturbed. For those that sit in the classrooms, or walk the halls, from teacher to student alike, it’s not a time that would be easily forgotten. When the indulgences of the past catch up with the indulgences of the present, there comes a reckoning. Sometimes the past is only a few feet under the surface.
Review Rating: Three Stars!
~ "Don't do anything stupid, Heaps!" yelled Buddy as his friend left the room.
Four months ago, Josh would've bet every dollar he had that nobody would ever have to say those words to him. At that clarifying moment, he knew this wasn't going to turn out well. ~ Page 214
Undeniably, the reader will learn and experience things that will shock and dismay. Although, anyone who keeps up with current events or their local school system already have some idea of the battleground that makes up our High Schools. On the dark side, this story delves into the motivation and purpose of those who have secrets they want to hide, and the lengths they will go in order to keep those sins hidden. It gives an insider's perspective from the teacher's point-of-view, as well as, those of the students, both victims and bystanders.
The author writes with a sharp wit and is obviously knowledgeable about the day-to-day lives and problems of those who make up any school's teaching staff, giving this story a sense of reality that serves to keep the reader turning pages.
One point of contention that I had with this story was the constant use of profanity. Four letter words are sprinkled throughout as prolifically as common punctuation. The sheer excess made reading this book uncomfortable and kept jarring me out of the story's plot. For that reason, I'm giving this story three stars instead of four.
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