Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Kennedy review

Thank you to Larry Smith for this review of new book Kennedy:

Allen Frost’s new novel Kennedy, moves us 20 years ahead 
from his previous Roosevelt into the week around the Cuban 
Missile Crisis in October 1962. “Vintage” best describes this 
intimate tale of a young boy and his relationships with life in 
Bellingham, Washington, with girls, and with his much-loved 
grandparents. As in all of Frost’s work, the poet emerges in 
the details and in the swing of the prose, capturing youthful 
sensitivity and the emotions around love and loss.
The highway coming through his town forebodes disruption 
and change. “The machinery was already at work on the 
highway. It made a low rumble and clank like the engine 
room of a ferryboat.” His metaphors are little treasures found 
along the trail of this book’s details and plot. When he allows 
his mind to focus on a young classmate, “The yellow pencil 
drifted off course from words about the Colony and before 
he knew it, it had written Caroline. Her name had appeared 
so out of the blue it looked like someone had planted a 
flower in all those rows of lead colored words.”  
When his grandmother faces a great loss, he finds her 
changed, “She seemed to float out; he felt like he was 
holding onto a paper version of his grandmother. She 
could have been folded origami. If the breeze was any 
stronger, she might be swept into the sky.” These 
marvelous lines are woven around a simple plot that 
includes the words of then President John F. Kennedy 
whose courage and character balance out the losses 
then, as it still does today.
Thanks to Fred Sodt for his classic illustrations. 
Kennedy is woven in history and perspective 
and is a book for all time.

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