Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Literary Fiction
Approximate word count: 45-50,000 words
Availability Kindle: YES Nook: YES Paper: NO
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A playwright and screenwriter, Sam Havens lives in Houston, Texas with his wife. He has done voice-over narration for radio and TV commercials and taught playwriting, screenwriting, and drama at two Houston area universities. For more visit his website.
Eddie Tipton’s widowed mother has moved them from town to town, as she’s chased a higher salary as a teacher. His senior year of high school they land in oil-rich Farr Point, Texas.
Small towns like the imaginary Farr Point have a strange dynamic. It is only a slight exaggeration saying everyone knows everyone else and everybody knows everyone else’s business. They can also seem insular, with few outsiders moving in and out. Sixty years ago, when this story takes place, this would have been even more true than today. Drop newcomer Eddie Tipton into a school where he’ll be looked on suspiciously, not only for being a newcomer, but also the son of the new teacher in town, and that conflict alone is the basis of a decent story.
Small towns also have secrets. Eddie becomes obsessed with one of the mysteries of Farr Point, the unsolved murder of his landlady’s oilman husband. As he uncovers clues to the mystery Eddie is forced into making some tough decisions and learns several life lessons. Farr Point is an enjoyable coming-of-age story and strong debut novel.
It was insignificant to the plot – only a single line in the middle of the book – but if you read Farr Point see if you can spot the anachronism.
At first glance, this book appears suited for a young adult audience. Some sex, not explicit, but also more than just implied, is enough to disqualify it for that genre. It would be suitable for older teens who read adult novels.
No significant issues.
Rating: ***** Five stars