Review: Vagabond Boy by Joel Everett Harding

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Title: Vagabond Boy: Memoir of a Youth’s Journey Through a Heartland of Chaos
Author: Joel Everett Harding
Format: Paperback and eBook
Publisher: Green Peach Publishing
Pages: 342
ISBN: 978-0615725499
Source: Author
Genre: Memoir
Stars: 4
Purchase Now:  Amazon § Barnes & Noble

About the Book:

This true story written in a creative non-fiction style concerns a boy who navigates through an unusual childhood while traveling throughout 1950s America with his restless parents, bumping into reality at every turn. The author’s encounters with strange landscapes, curious people, and dubious caretakers dangle confusing lessons he must choose to accept or discard at his peril. The book abounds in humor and boyhood adventure, but chaos also hitches a ride on the family’s wandering path. Eventually that path ends abruptly and he is swept toward an emotional chasm that threatens to swallow and imprison him forever, and to secure his future with a purposeful life he must somehow decipher secrets in a mysterious forbidden pond that beckons him

Book Review:

It is always refreshing to find a memoir that can detail more difficult experiences yet leave readers with a sense of having been there, with concepts universal to everyone no matter their upbringing.

Incredibly well written, with the ability to express and convey emotions, express humor and present the story with a touch of remove needed to keep the story from becoming maudlin or feeling overly judgmental, this story captivated me early on. Presenting vignettes and scenes not uncommon to early black and white television shows, presenting the façade of Americana, if not the actuality lived by the author and his family.

Overall this is a story that shows one person’s journey and ability to move forward and overcome difficult circumstances to live a contented life, a good lesson for those of us who let circumstances and fears hold us back.

I received an eBook copy from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About the Author:

Joel Everett Harding has professional credentials in a variety of scientific fields, including river geomorphic restoration, bioengineering design, ecosystem ecology and animal and human behavior. He has been a scientist to private industry, federal, state and local governments and nonprofit organizations. When he is not writing and otherwise working he spends his time in the Piedmont with his family photographing and painting the landscape, tending his gardens and koi pond. This is his first published book.

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