09 March 2011

The Charlatan's Boy

What makes this book so wonderful? It's in the details and the breadth and the depth.. It is full of warmth and tenderness, fun and laughter. Adventure, mystery and love. It is a tale built around themes that we all tangle with on a daily basis yet it is a tale woven out of the most exotic fabric. It is fantasy and yet it is achingly real at the same time. Jonathan Rogers has created a world that is compact and universal. He has woven a story that any one could relate to and characters that relate to all of us.

At some point I myself have played the Charlatan, the blustering cowboy, a gullible townsman, a mythical feechie...a lonely, homely lost soul. Therein lies a bit of the magic. WE are the stars, the bit characters, the heroes and the villian. This story is about us, for us and most assuredly written for our benefit and encouragement.

In THE CHARLATAN'S BOY Rogers introduces the reader to Grady. An achetypal lost soul. Grady is filled with doubt and a deep need to be loved, to love and feel like he belongs somewhere, to someone. Through Grady Mr. Rogers voices timeless wisdom. Grady is an ethical character even though he has been raised by a most unethical person. Grady manages to be a child of unusual vision that guides him steadfastly throughout the story.

I, personally, underlined only one sentence in the entire book (though many were worthy); "Floyd never let me keep a dog, but I believe I'd be a better boy if I had a critter to look at me the way a cowdog looks at its drover. I'd work mighty hard to deserve a dog's good opinion." I just love that line and it manged to stay with me. So simple, so simply put. It summarizes a universal truth, a wisdom that tells us that being loved is a gift but it is also an action. We must work to be worthy of the love that is given to us. In this way love absolutely has the power to transform lives. And the world.

Please read this lovely book. It will captivate and entertain in a way that most books aspire to but few even come close to.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review