Romey's Place


With perceptiveness and style, James Calvin Schaap renders a coming-of-age tale about friendship, fathers and sons, and, most of all, the grace that saves us from the darkest places.
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Romey's Place: A Novel

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With perceptiveness and style, James Calvin Schaap renders a coming-of-age tale about friendship, fathers and sons, and, most of all, the grace that saves us from the darkest places.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Smalltown "church-ruled" Easton, Wis., takes center stage in Schaap's (In the Silence There Are Ghosts) earnest, thoughtful coming-of-age novel. As middle-aged Lowell Prins helps his elderly father to sort through the belongings of a lifetime, he reflects on the fateful events of his last summer before high school during the late 1950s. His recollections soon become a study in contrasts, juxtaposing two very different fathers, and their sons, who have more in common with their fathers than they would like to think. Lowell's dad, Pete, is a "big-time Christian" and the town "saint." Cyril Guttner, the abusive father of Lowell's best friend, Romey, is the town pariah. In the black-and-white world of 1950s Easton--where gangs of kids picking green beans constitute a youth culture and an unpardonable sin is being caught in the girls' barracks at Bible camp--moral issues loom large. The retrospective account of this fateful period in Lowell's life is, for the most part, a familiar litany of youthful experiences (stealing cigarettes, finding summer jobs, attending town dances), but Lowell and Romey's religious discussions differentiate it from similar tales. Romey half-reveres and half-resents Lowell's faith, just as Lowell simultaneously admires and fears Romey's tough-talking ways. When events culminate in a misguided prank that turns deadly, a confrontation between fathers, sons and the town is inevitable. Looking back on those events, Lowell, now the curator for a small county museum, must come to terms with the rigid righteousness, which he sees as his father's legacy and which he blames for poisoning his friendship with Romey. Religious devotion, family loyalty and the dynamics of friendship are ultimately seen as issues subject to several moral interpretations, and Lowell finally understands that "if my father taught me goodness... Romey taught me grace." (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801060014
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

James Calvin Schaap, a professor of English at Dordt College and president of the Chrysostom Society, is the award-winning author of twenty-two books. He lives in Sioux Center, Iowa.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2000

    Christian Fiction worth reading

    I have been routinely disapointed in the 'Christian Fiction' junk that everyone else buys. I read a review of this in a magazine and decided to give it a try. The story is a classic tale of redemption with believable multi-layered good guy bad guy stuff here. It is a wonderful story of childhood and the magic of summers. Small towns, mischief, adventures and freindship and faith that endures come together in this worthwhile read. It is funny, emotional and a book worth cherishing. I am an avid reader and a Christian that longs for literature not pulp fiction to read..this was it. If you like well written novels with memorable characters and scenes that you can 'smell and see' buy this book.

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