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The Relationship

The Relationship

by John H. Hyman, Wilma Fulkerson (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Nostalgia reigns in this first novel by a retired Virginia builder, who casts a Norman Rockwell glow over the friendship between two nine-year-old boys, one black and one white, in the tiny tobacco- and cotton-farming community of Scotland Neck, N.C., in 1944. Wormy, the son of an abusive black ne'er-do-well, is the inseparable companion of a poor white boy, narrator Johnnie, the only child of the town's seedy taxi owner, a diabetic, alcoholic WWI veteran. Opening with a mildly farcical encounter with German POWs imported to work the fields, the tale moves on to relate how the pair enlist the help of Johnnie's visiting 14-year-old cousin, who steals the taxi as they embark on a moonlight outing to Scout Pond, an all-white swimming hole with a mind-boggling amusement attraction called the ``Glide Ride.'' Predictably, the adventure ends in disaster. The rest of the narrative is mostly preoccupied with Johnnie's efforts to repay the damage to the taxi as the undaunted but hapless boys are caught up in a series of rather unoriginal misadventures in what will be the last summer of their innocence. Hyman clearly loves the people and the place he writes about. Unfortunately, he displays neither the literary reach nor depth of insight to address properly the themes of race and the coming-of-age of two boys, let alone of a nation. This story ends up being merely an extended verbal postcard, offering a sepia-tinted, flat view of the past. (Nov.)

Product Details

E. M. Productions
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.35(w) x 9.36(h) x 0.93(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

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