Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Secret Wisdom of the Earth

The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton is another book read for one of my book
groups.  It is the author's debut novel and he hit a home run!  The novel reminded me of Ordinary Grace in that it is a book about a young boy's coming-of-age story.

Fourteen year old Kevin and his very grief-stricken mother were sent to Medgar, Kentucky to stay with Kevin's grandfather for one summer following the accidental (and bizarre) death of his three year old brother.  His grandfather, "Pops" was a veterinarian who lived in Appalachia in the old coal town. There Kevin met Buzzy Fink, a boy his age who taught Kevin the ins and outs of the town and the woods around them.  And his grandfather hired Kevin to be his assistant that summer, so he took Kevin out on calls with him. And during their time, "Pops" introduced Kevin to books and, as it turned out, the wisdom of the earth.

Over the summer, Kevin became aware of many new things: the land around the area being destroyed by big mining companies, the cruelty of poverty, and the hate crime that was witnessed by Buzzy against a gay man in town.  When his grandfather takes Kevin and Buzzy on his annual trek/camping trip, they find themselves the target of an assassin. That journey is the turning point of Kevin's life.

I loved the author's writing style.  Very easy to follow and relate. Near the end of the book, when Kevin was visiting Buzzy, Buzzy asked Kevin how his mom was.  Keven replied:

"She seems a little better, but Pops says she may never be like she was.  Says losing a kid is like a piece of your soul dying........I guess when terrible crap happens, how much of your soul that's left behind is how much you can heal."


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