Friday, May 7, 2010

In the Wake of the Boatman by Jonathon Scott Fuqua

Copyright: 2008
Publisher: Bancroft Press
Genre: fiction
Pages: 307
Challenges: War through the Generations Challenge, New author challenge
New-to-me Author:  Yes
Author's Website 

Simple Description:
Puttnum (or Putt) was born during WWII.  His father didn't want him, mostly because he felt sick that he couldn't fight for his country and is therefore stuck at home having to provide for yet another mouth to feed.  After WWII his father goes into business for himself and slowly the family becomes somewhat rich.  This, however, does not cause Putt's dad to like him anymore.  It seems his son can't do anything right.  Even when he tries.

Putt knows that his father prefers his older sister.  It seems that no matter what he does, he disappoints.  He tries to be tough at the country club pool and ends up causing a kid to lose an eye.  Later as a teenager he  is put in jail for stealing  car.  When it's time to go to college, Putt rebels in a way. He gets a scholarship and joins the ROTC program at the University of Virginia, his Dad flunked out of this school.

Putt has trouble in school though.  Well, not so much with school, but rather in dealing with people.  He has a lot of personal struggles going on.  There is one struggle that becomes too much for Putt.  He feels like he would have been better if he had been born a woman. He feels complete when he wears woman's clothing.  In an effort to deal with this, Putt asks to be sent to Vietnam after he graduates college.  He serves 3 tours in Vietnam and only come back to the states for good when he is injured.  He then gets asked to break up a spy ring and ends up being a hero for America.  Well, at least in the eyes of the army and most American citizens.  Putt knows he doesn't deserve to be a hero.

Now what you really want to thoughts:
I struggled with this one.  That's probably (in part) why it took so long to write the review, I finished this book on Wednesday.  While the idea of the story intrigues me, the delivery didn't live up to my expectations.  I was interested in the struggle between Putt and his true feelings and how he reacted to Vietnam and coming home after serving in Vietnam.  While this was part of the story, there wasn't as much attention to it as I would want there to be.  For the most part Putt seems like an angry and lost man.  The reader doesn't really get as much info as I would have liked regarding him liking to dress in woman's clothing, his issues with his Dad, etc.  You seemed to always be on the outside, getting some glimpses of his thoughts and feelings but not enough for me.

Unfortunately, I think the book was just ok.  It held my interest enough that I did finish it, but I can't rave about this one.  There were several things I thought were interesting, I like the personal struggles Putt went through, it just wasn't delivered in a way I thought worked.  Lucky for you readers, I looked this one up on and there are 4 reviews, 2 gave it 5 stars and 2 gave it 4 stars.  So it might be worth reading those to get a better idea if this book is

If I'm going to rate it, which I keep saying I'm going to set up a system and still haven't, I would give this one 2.5 out of 5 stars.

 Thanks to Harrison at Bancroft Press for providing this book for review.


bermudaonion said...

Sorry this didn't work for you.

Anna said...

Sorry this was a bit disappointing. I will be giving it a try soon myself. We'll get this posted on War Through the Generations soon.

Diary of an Eccentric

Unknown said...

Bermudaonion - Thanks, it's always a bit disappointing when books aren't as good as we hope isn't it?

Anna - Oh...I'm interested to see what you think of the book. Cain't wait to read your review after you finish it.

Anonymous said...

Still haven't read this one, but we did get your review on War Through the Generations today!