Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Search for Belle Prater

I remember reading Belle Prater's Boy for the first time and loving it. Not so much this time. I don't know whether it's because I have read much more "countrified" fiction than I had at that point in my reading career, or if it was just a better book.

I feel that this sequel gives short shrift to the new characters Cassie and Joseph, and is just a bit too tidy in the end. Just MHO.

We join Gyspy and Woodrow right about at New Years Eve. Gypsy explains the family's tradition of sharing New Years Revelations rather than New Years Resolutions. Just at the stroke of midnight, the telephone rings. Eventhough there is no voice on the other end, Woodrow just knows that it has to be his mother. After contacting the operator to find out where the call comes from, Woodrow is off to Bluefield on the bus to find her.

On the bus, Gyspy, Woodrow and Cassie meet Joseph. Joseph is the first coloured boy ("call me black") that Woodrow has ever encountered, and in typical Woodrow fashion, he sticks his foot in his mouth several times before winning Joseph over. Joseph is also on a quest to find some family in Bluefield.

It is a "nice" story, but I certainly wasn't moved. Anyone who has read Belle Prater's Boy by White should give it a read, but it does not warrant a stand alone read.

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