Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Waltzing Cowboys: Book Review

Official release date of Waltzing Cowboys is January 1, 2009.

“What is past is prologue,” Shakespeare wrote.

That quotation applies to Sarah Collins Honenberger ‘s new book, Waltzing Cowboys (Cedar Creek Press, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9790206-6-8, 247 pp., $15.95).

The story is an odyssey—actually a double odyssey—filled with complications. Aging cowboy Rhue Hogan, who deserted his wife and unborn son forty years earlier to “find himself” out West, journeys back to New York to find them, while his son Ford journeys to New England to scatter the ashes of his deceased mother.

Rhue, whose sidekick Vince was recently buried and whose female sidekick Marion is now in a nursing home, breaks his ankle while trying to ride a green-broke mare. After he wakes up in the hospital and doesn’t remember what happened, he decides to go on a quest to find his ex-wife and the son he’s never seen. Cleaning out his bank account, he boards a train and heads east.

Meanwhile, Ford Hogan, cleaning out his mother’s things, finds old photos of the father he never met. However, he must attend to her ashes, so he makes plans to take them to New England where his mother had roots. He’s accompanied on his journey by Evie, a twenty-something he meets when she locks herself out of her apartment.

Complications ensue for both protagonists; their pasts are prologue for who they are now, who they will become. They encounter a variety of characters who help them along the way— among them a midget psychic, a youthful fisherman, a young and jaded female detective, and others.

Arriving in New York, Rhue is befriended by two street kids, Rip and Wizard, who offer him assistance in getting food, finding a place to stay, etc. They use the library’s computer to look up information about his wife and son. Part of the information, of course, is the recent obituary of Rhue’s ex-wife, Adriana. They also find Ford’s address. Of course, he isn’t home, but his landlord gives Rhue a key.

While exploring New England, Ford and Evie—so different in age and life experiences—fall in love. When the landlord contacts Ford about his father, Ford at first doesn’t want to meet him. Evie convinces him otherwise.

Waltzing Cowboys is literary fiction—textually rich, multi-layered, and laden with metaphor and philosophy. It explores themes that affect all of us: love, commitment, the baggage we carry, and the choices we make—or don’t make—in our journey through life.

Waltzing Cowboys gives its readers—especially those who are halfway or more through life’s journey— plenty to think about.



Blogger CountryDew said...

Sounds like a good read.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Marion said... intelligent book review. Sounds like an interesting read.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Sarah Collins Honenberger said...

Peevish Pen: With your expertise about country folks, and things equine, your take on Waltzing Cowboys, even if he does end up in New York city, is high praise indeed. The Cville Conversations linked you in on December 24. Thank you, Sarah.

10:10 PM  

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