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Fourteen-year-old Kenny Roy Willson fantasizes about escape from his hometown of Comfort, Texas, following his alcoholic father's release from prison.
"Reminiscent of S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders, this novel poignantly portrays the life of a good kid with rotten parents who are so engrossed in their own problems that their children become emotional orphans."—VOYA VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
"Readers who crave independence and a way to break destructive family cycles will take interest, as will fans of poetry and poetry slams."—Kirkus Reviews Kirkus Reviews
Chapter 3 I wiped down the counter while Mama busied herself off in the back with the tapes returned from record producers in Nashville. So far not one of them had recognized the vocal talents of Roy Dan Willson, and it was driving Mama crazy. It had only been two weeks and already everything Mama had sent out had been returned. I wondered if anybody ever listened to the tapes or if they just sent them back as soon as they arrived.
Mama muttered under her breath as she put new mailing labels on the brown envelopes and got ready to send them out again. “No ear for talent,” she said half a dozen times. “I don’t understand it,” Mama droned as she hid the extra tapes behind the dishwashing soap. It was a place Daddy was sure never to look. “They come back so fast. It just ain’t logistical.” “Do you mean it ain’t ‘logical’?” I said, doubting that she was talking about the logistics of mailing items between Nashville and Comfort.
Mama shoved a mop bucket at me. “I meant whatever I said, and I said whatever I meant. Now go clean the floor in the dining room.” I carried the bucket out front and started mopping from one side of the dining room to the other, wondering how I’d ever find the time to prepare for the poetry competition.
Mrs. Peterson says words have power. If that’s true then the most potent thing in my life during that time when Daddy first got home was the word “Dallas.” That’s where I was going. I wasn’t stupid about it, though. I watched the news and Sixty Minutes. I knew what happened to runaways out on the streets. I wasn’t going to be out on the streets. I had a plan. And I wasn’t running away. I was merely going to relocate prematurely. The mistake most kids make is that they fly off the handle and get scared or mad at their parents and just take off from home without thinking about it ahead of time. Not me. I’d been thinking about leaving for a long time.
Posted May 8, 2010
Ive never read a more grasping novel like Comfort which provides that in the end after roller coasters of emotional distress & realistic scenarios like abortion, armed robbery, choiceless decisions that seem to lead to the feared dead end people face like the protagonist in this novel. Really captures the Texas scenery wellWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 26, 2008
Comfort by Carolee Dean<BR/>Publication Date: March 2002<BR/>3.5 out of 5 stars<BR/>PG-13 Sexual References, Alcohol Abuse, Brief Profanity, and Violence<BR/>Recommended<BR/><BR/>High school student Kenny is forced by his selfish mother to help at their family owned café. He is a member of the family so he helps out, but when his mother who has already taken away football and band declares he is not allowed to enter the one contest that may help him escape his mama, she goes to far. With the return of his alcoholic father who was just released from prison, Kenny realizes the time for escape from his lying father and abusive mother is shortening. All he has to do is come up with 300 more dollars and a way to get Cindy Blackwell to run away with him. But his prison guard-like mother isn¿t the only thing holding him back, it¿s the guilt and knowledge that he is leaving his toddler brother in the very same unloving conditions he¿s trying to escape.<BR/><BR/>Comfort was an okay novel that explored a high school boy¿s actions and thoughts while living in an abusive environment.<BR/><BR/>The main character, Kenny, was realistic though a little blind-sighted to life`s joys. He had hopes and dreams of escape that appeared more tantalizing after every demeaning humiliation. Kenny was a caring person when he chose to be, but could also be hard and stubborn. He was a human being barely enduring the stress and torment. A character who I wanted to pity but knew he had a lesson to learn first. <BR/><BR/>The twists in the plot are what kept the novel moving. If this book hadn¿t served the occasional slap to the unsuspecting face, I could have easily joined Kenny in his hurting world with little hope of escaping.<BR/><BR/>I enjoyed the insightful ¿lesson¿ the author centered the book around. From page 171, ¿ Your words have power, Kenny. They can give people hope, and courage, and confidence. And they need that.¿ The fact that something you say can effect other people around you is an uncommonly shared, but true actuality. Words have power, we just need to know how to use them.<BR/><BR/>I recommend Comfort for teens who wish to read a book that¿s more than a ¿light-read¿.<BR/><BR/>Date Reviewed: December 23rd, 2008<BR/><BR/>For more book reviews and book information check out my blog at www.inthecurrent.blogspot.comWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 17, 2005
Comfort is one of the most interesting books I have ever read. Carolee Dean did a fantastic job in writing this book. If you like books with a lot of drama, this is the perfect book for you! A++!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.