When is a good review not a good review? When it’s a utterly brilliant review.
I’ve been extremely fortunate in the reviews I have received for my second novel, Children of the Resolution—on Amazon in particular. Yes, I do sometimes worry that cynical prospective buyers might think that twenty-one five-star reviews (a hundred percent record) must invariably mean that they are plants, but they aren’t. They are genuine reviews by genuine readers who, on the whole, have given this novel in particular careful consideration.
And so, today, I would like to thank those reviews and share in its entirety the latest, which I think gives a very solid impression of the novel.
Children of the Resolution follows the schooldays of Carl Grantham. Carl is disabled and is a pupil at the experimental Resolution school which attempts to integrate disabled children into mainstream education. From the start this novel had me captivated. The description of Carl’s first day at school triggered emotions I’d long since forgotten. Those feelings of cruel abandonment as you’re left to fend for yourself in the big bad world for the first time.
As Carl moves through school he makes a friend and ally in Johnny Jameson. If truth be told he stole the show for me. Some of his wit and plain speaking had me laughing out loud. And his inescapable plight moved me deeply. I found Carl and Johnny’s relationship emotionally engaging. They were a perfect foil for each other.
As the story unfolded it took me through a whole gamut of emotions from optimism to despair. I could hear that unmistakeable hum of school life and I relived that juvenile sense of trying to negotiate your way across new and uncertain terrain. There were times when Carl and Johnny didn’t see eye to eye especially when a love interest came between them. But the glue of real friendship kept them bound together. It took me through all the knocks and scrapes that adolescent life throws at you.
Gary Murning’s wonderfully observed narrative evoked so many of the happy and often painful memories of school. It brought home how sticking dogmatically to a blueprint for revolutionary change can ultimately lead to failure, especially if those charged with bringing in that revolution are ill equipped. He highlights how insightful and receptive some teachers can be and how others can be so self-absorbed and woefully inadequate. And despite such polarities children are supposed to thrive and forge bright and meaningful futures for themselves.
Once I’d started it I found it hard to put it down. Children of the Resolution is a first class book and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes a realistic, gritty and down to earth read.
© 2012 Gary William Murning