The Old Songs

The Old Songs

by Fred Burton
     
 

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"The Old Songs" takes place in Queens, N.Y. during the 1950s and 1960s. The members of the extended family you meet have been shaped by The Depression and World War II. In response to these traumatic events they are drawn together into gatherings that are fun-loving and raucous.

It is not long before a tragic event occurs, taking two of the main characters from

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Overview

"The Old Songs" takes place in Queens, N.Y. during the 1950s and 1960s. The members of the extended family you meet have been shaped by The Depression and World War II. In response to these traumatic events they are drawn together into gatherings that are fun-loving and raucous.

It is not long before a tragic event occurs, taking two of the main characters from them. Those left behind struggle to maintain the things that keep them bound to each other, and shun attitudes and ideas that run counter to them. But evidence mounts that events cannot be managed and controlled as easily as they had expected. Their rigid orthodoxy is tested when they consider the poor treatment that had been directed towards those no longer among them.

The title captures an essential theme of the book. The first chapter occurs at a family party. The petty conflicts are undone by the singing of songs and you sense the rich heritage this represents. Later, they sing in a restaurant and it becomes painfully clear how the world has passed them by. The concluding chapter has the larger group reassembled for perhaps the final time. The singing begins and feelings of hurt and alienation are met with a counterforce that suggests that beauty can be found even in difficult situations.

There are no heroes in this book but truth can be found in the fabric of their shared experience, each strand of which struggles for connection. Their love for each other battles against the crises that have shaped their lives. They are poorly equipped for looking inside themselves because of a morality that scorns analysis of this kind. Despite these obstacles each is given a chance to learn how to forgive, both themselves and each other, and those who grow in this way secure some measure of peace in their lives.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781463589646
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
02/28/2012
Pages:
274
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.62(d)

Meet the Author

Fred Burton grew up after the years covered in this book. But he did experience the turbulent effects of this era and heard the stories brought forth from it. This is what has allowed him to explore various universal themes in The Old Songs, themes that caused the characters that peopled this book to confront their humanity in unexpected ways.

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