Destiny Gardensby John Harrison
A disparate group of abandoned kids in the late 1950's band together for survival in a vacant and derelict public meeting hall. In their Dickensian world, they cross paths with Mafia godfather, Charles "Lucky" Luciano, and a sinister New Orleans pimp named Rance Charles who has arrived to reclaim what's his. In the style of Stephen King's THE
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A disparate group of abandoned kids in the late 1950's band together for survival in a vacant and derelict public meeting hall. In their Dickensian world, they cross paths with Mafia godfather, Charles "Lucky" Luciano, and a sinister New Orleans pimp named Rance Charles who has arrived to reclaim what's his. In the style of Stephen King's THE BODY (aka Stand by Me), and the novels of S.E. Hinton, DESTINY GARDENS opens a door into a world not long ago where the definition of “child” and “adult” was a distinction without a difference.
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This book is charming and whimsical, with characters that will grab you and keep you throughout the whole story. It is remarkably mature in its style without feeling forced or overdone. It sticks to a simplistic storytelling that helps you fall right into its world and never want to leave. It's so multilayered that it's hard to believe that it revolves around children, but perhaps that's why it's so fantastic. It makes us see how mature children can be when the world around them forces adult problems upon them. It's frightening, hilarious, sorrowful, and uplifting. You will not regret reading this book because it's a fantastic story first and foremost, with incredible characters and wonderful writing.
<b>Took Me Back to a Time From Before I Was Born...</b> Right from the start, I could see the settings in my head based on the illuminating descriptions that took me back to those old black and white movies of the 40s and 50s. I especially got a kick out of the characters' way of talking. Despite his seemingly rough manner in the beginning, I really liked Patch and felt sympathy for him as his backstory emerged. Another favorite of mine was Luther and even before Orvis said he was slick, I could tell Luther was pretty sly. But I think what I liked best of all were the little details added that let you know you were in 1950s USA, from movies to technology. Since I was born a couple of decades afterward and never got to experience that time for myself, it was interesting to read and like a little, almost unexpected treat for me whenever those details popped up.
The thing is, when you open and book and start reading, especially a book by a relatively unknown author, you're hoping for the best. And with this book, you get it. Great story. Great characters. Harrison creates a world that's gritty, and real. With good guys and bad guys who you want to follow all the way to the end. Once I started reading, I just didn't want to put it down. Not necessarily because it was action packed, but because I really wanted to know what was going to happen to these fully-developed teenagers. Give yourself the chance to enjoy this book. It's a great read.