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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Perspective is a curious thing. In art, it allows us to see an object in a wholly new light. In life, an adult perspective on one’s childhood can provide a startling new clarity, along with a host of new questions. In his quaint Southern memoir, literary critic Jones tackles his own upbringing. His was neither an idyllic childhood nor a horrifically abusive one. Rather, it is telling in its ordinariness.
A precocious child reared in the Jim Crow South, Jones had an extended family of loving, God-fearing people, but his nuclear family left much to be desired. His father was a distant man, an alcoholic who had trouble keeping a job. His mother responded by berating her husband mercilessly. Predictably, the marriage was short-lived.
Thereafter, it was left to Jones’s mother to provide for him – and persevere she did, though she never found happiness. In hindsight, her instability is much more clear to Jones; he wonders how close she came to a nervous breakdown, and why she never pursued the things that may have brought her contentment. In essence, Little Boy Blues is a heartbreaking look at a marriage gone awry, the small joys of childhood, and the quiet, depressing aftermath of divorce on a young boy and his ill equipped mother – the story of a man looking back at his roots, trying to understand who he is and how he got there.