Title: Moon Puddles
Author: Robert Gamble
A sniper kills his uncle in Vietnam. Journeying in the car to the funeral, a boy begins to reveal his secret inner life, the richness and wonder of his childhood, and his growing awareness of the sacred. Set in the early 1960s amidst the backdrop of the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, and Rust Belt decay the boy grapples with injustice, ignorance, fear of death, longing for God, and the joy of experiencing the world.
This is one of the most interesting books I have ever read. There are so many components that make this story rich. The illustrations are wonderful and bring the story to life. The story is presented as the reflections of a boy traveling to a loved one's funeral. What you actually have is a young person's journey to spirituality and understanding.
Moon Puddles is filled with reminisces that will resonate with anyone who grew up in the late '60s or early '70s. It personalizes the work to the reader when you get those aha moments. The author talks about watching Bugs on tv on Saturday at 6. That was when I watched that rascally wabbit. The mention of mornings with Capt.Kang a roo…I had those mornings too.
The book flows naturally as the family travels by car from Texas to Kansas. While they travel that distance physically, you are mentally carried to far greater places. The way items in the present stimulate thoughts of the past are very well done. Nothing seems forced, the book seems very natural.
At times fun, at times thoughtful, the book takes the reader on a journey that is more than a car ride. Evocative yet enjoyable, a brilliant road trip book. Recommended to anyone who likes road trip books. Recommended to anyone who grew up in the late 60's and early 70's. A book for everyone trying to get a grip on their own concept of spirituality. A really terrific work.
My Rating: 5+ stars
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Robert Gamble graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in Writing and a Master of Arts in Teaching. Among other things, he was a soldier, factory worker, custodian, groundskeeper, pizza shop manager, worked in printing, sales, delivered the mail, and was an elementary school teacher. He retired from teaching and is currently enjoying the enchantment of New Mexico with his wife and two boys.
Reviewed by: Mr. N