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Polaris Magazine
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Book Reviews
Voices from a Far Field
Author Name: Calvin Bowden
Subject: Fiction
ISBN: 1595264515
Size of Book: 6x9
Book Pages: 300
Price: $15.95
Date Submitted: November 04, 2013
Name Of Reviewer: Carol Hoyer, Ph.D. Name Of Publication: News Blaze November 04, 2013
Voices From A Far Field: Book Review By Carol Hoyer, PhD I have never been to Texas in the 30's, but author Calvin Bowden made me feel as if I had been there in 1930, when Heck Tennel returns home after leaving 65 years ago. Run out of town by local high profile people, Heck left his sick brother and two sisters without food or money and his first true love. Heck and his black friend Cracker are the reason I loved this book, because their experience rings so clear and true. Not only do they make me see the things they see, they make me feel the things they feel. There's a lot more going on than just the trials and tribulations of being in a racially prejudice time. It's a story about pride, taking care of family and not letting others drag you down. Heck learns about life the hard way. With a father who is crippled and a mother who runs around on her husband, Heck is doing all he can to care for his family. It isn't easy when every time something good happens, something worse takes it away. Life was hard and simple in that days- entertainment was drinking moonshine, having barn dances and trying to find your one true love. When Heck's newfound love admits she loves him, her mean spirited Aunt will take it all away with one false charge - rape. His only ally is Cilla and she is the go between for the lovers. Running from the law and leaving everything behind, he now returns to the town he wanted to escape to find the answers to his questions. The larger theme of the story is racial intolerance, but the author doesn't try to make it a lesson of life, he just tells it like he remembers it. Even though the story happened years ago, you know it still happens today where people distrust each other and are out for the "gold."
Heck Tennel returns after 65 years to small Texas town he fled when 18, leaving behind a destitute family and a girl he loved. Found by girl’s aunt, he is urged to return for critical message. Aunt has died, but message can be found in special place known only to him and Gloria in l934. Heck reminisces with Negro boyhood friend, and that night his mind goes back to May, 1934, to recount details of Saturday night country musicals, butter and egg routes and conflict between passion and lasting love as he struggles to support his dysfunctional family and become a country music recording star. Gloria is that proper girl he wants, but courting her prompts problems with coarse ex-girlfriend and Gloria’s vicious aunt who files criminal charges. He flees, as he must avoid incarceration to support his family. It appears that his dreams to improve his life are gone forever. In final chapter, Heck receives messages and gifts he never thought possible, causing him to suspect that life can be good for bitter old clodhoppers after all.