Friday, November 14, 2014

Review: Return to Oakpine by Ron Carlson

Return to Oakpine
by Ron Carlson

Publisher: Viking Adult
Pages: 272
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In high school, these men were in a band. One of them, Jimmy, left Oakpine for New York City after the tragic death of his brother. A successful novelist, he has returned thirty years later, in 1999—because he is dying.

With Carlson’s characteristic grace, we learn what has become of these friends and the different directions of their lives. Craig and Frank never left; Mason, a top lawyer in Denver, is back in town to fix up and sell his parents’ house. Now that they are reunited, getting the band back together might be the most important thing they can do.

Kritters Thoughts:  I read very few books that center around male characters, so when I was offered this book I jumped at the chance to read something outside of my normal reading.  A group of four boys formed a band in high school and had quite the senior year, but after graduation, one leaves to not return in 30 years, two stay and one has returned a few times, but is back for good now.  As they all come back to their small hometown, the memories from the past are creeping up, but they are also learning about what happened in the in between.

It took a moment to learn each of the personalities of each of the men, but once I made a quick chart, I had it down and loved reading about their interactions.  It was interesting to read about how their group formed and then to see them reconnect and see how their lives apart had changed each of them.  The other part that really had me connect with these characters and fall in love with them was seeing the next generation emerge.  I would love to read a sequel that focuses on this up and coming generation in the small town.   

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Viking/Penguin Books.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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