A Tinkers Damnby Darryl Wimberley
As the nation readies to enter WWII, Tink Buchanan has one concern: his personal battle to regain the land, and home, that are his birthright. A generation earlier the Ogilvies had forced his father to turn over the land to cover a debt, and with the Depression grinding on, Tink sees his chance to return the favor — if he can only dredge up a bit more cash. So he pulls his son, Carter, out of college to work in his lumber mill and sets his eyes on going home. But Tink's plan unravels when Carter's affection for Julia Ogilvie threatens familial ties — and as racial tensions mount following the brutal murder of his employee, Saint MacGrue.
- MacAdam/Cage Publishing, Incorporated
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So seldom, so very rare, to find a contemporary author with the literary ability of Wimberley. If you have not experienced the rough scrub, back country of Florida's pan handle, you will capture it in A TINKER'S DAMN. Your senses will rain down about you in feverish torrents of colors, smells, and imagery, then be gripped in a tension of anticipation as the tale's swelled emotions rip the fabric of the characters' lives. This novel of a father-son relationship searching for common ground moves with crushing impact not unlike Turgenev's 'Fathers and Sons', but vividly more. It draws a reader in like a vacuum and never lets go. A haunting. I read it in three sittings, and struggled in between with a constant pull to return to the pages. Revenge, justice, redemption... all interlaced in a fiery meltdown of the characters' wills, and poured out redefined in the outcomes. Loved it. No need to go out 'Finding Forrester'--he's here among us, in these pages.
'A Tinker's Damn' is the story of a young man growing up in late 1930's Florida--not the glamor of the Gulf Coast but the hard life of the Panhandle. Carter Buchanan is torn between his own desires and the obsession of his father, Tinker, who feels cheated of his birthright. Tinker Buchanan is a hard man who is a good friend, a fair employer--and an implacable enemy. As the story unfolds, the costs of Tink's struggle to reclaim his land, both to himself and to his family, are revealed. One of the strengths of Wimberley's writing is that the reader feels connected to the characters, even though few of us have ever lived in such circumstances or had such events occur in our lives. He evokes the characters' lives with enough detail that they live in our imaginations. (Who will play Tink and Carter in the movie?) This, his third novel, is perhaps the best so far; I highly anticipate his next effort.