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CERTAINTY:An Historic Novel ~ Victor Bevine

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

“The war had proved that much, if little else.  A sword of any kind was as likely to cut down the innocent as the guilty, no matter how many monuments man might build to the grandeur of his own self-importance.” (Page 324 of advance review copy without a final cover)

CERTAINTY is an interesting book to be reading during a mid-term election cycle in the US.  Although it is storytelling about a specific historic event and documented trial notes, it is about a witch hunt, stalking, name calling and just plain lying about other human beings and changing lives forever.  Bevine draws us into defining what is good and evil and whether or not an event will assist us in discerning a truth and finding value for the greater good.

William Bartlett is a young lawyer in 1918 practicing law with a firm in Newport, Rhode Island.  25,000 Naval seamen are in a holding pattern as WWI has ended and most will not be shipped out.  This is a huge population jump for such a small community and the prostitutes have arrived in huge numbers also a group of seamen are dying in the Spanish Flu Epidemic.  There is no space for the troops and nothing to do and a great deal of drinking and malicious activities occurring in the town center and the YMCA.  Reverend Kent is working on developing a Seaman’s Institute and sitting all night with the seamen who are dying, being a caregiver, when he is accused by the 3 Navy men of unseemly acts and homosexual behavior; preying on the men not praying for them.

The church would like Rev. Kent to plead guilty to a lesser charge and then to move him out of town with no fanfare and little publicity.   Bartlett and Kent decide to take a moral stand and bring the false accusations out into the open, because Kent is innocent and a very caring individual.  What is discovered is that a particularly fervent Naval Officer, who can identify homosexuals and deviant by their walk, sets up a group of 48 seamen to entrap the “fairies” in their midst who are causing all the problems.  An earlier round of McCarthyism goes into the history books and a great many men’s lives were altered forever.

“As the trial unveils more shocking secrets – secrets that shake Newport and reverberates all the way up to the federal government”- William  Bartlett could lose everything also. (Temporary cover of the advanced copy of the book)

CERTIANTY’s author Victor Bevine, a graduate of Yale University, discovered this trial and story when escaping a downpour by sheltering in a bookstore.  He first wrote a play about this event and now has turned it into a novel so that more people will be informed.  Bevine is an actor, screenwriter, director, narrator of audiobooks, and sports entrepreneur who resides in NYC.

Victor Bevine Facebook

TLC Book Tours  sent me a copy of CERTAINTY to review and I believe that readers who like historic based fiction and military fiction will enjoy diving into CERTAINTY.

Related:
The Lost Tribe of Coney Island 
Playing St. Barbara
Muckers
A Snug Life Somewhere

THE EXILES: A Novel ~Allison Lynn

Friday, July 19th, 2013


To be in a state of EXILE one must be in a state or period of forced absence from one’s country or home according to Webster’s Dictionary.   It was interesting to be reading THE EXILES while our news is full of a young man, Ed Snowden, who is currently experiencing an exile on the global stage.

Nate, a middle range employee on Wall Street, and his girlfriend Emily are moving from the wealthy lifestyle in New York City to a position in Rhode Island and a house that they have purchased and believe they will be able to afford.  This is a young couple in financial exile and in shock about losing their dreams and friends.   They load up their Jeep to the brim with air mattresses, clothing, their financial papers and baby arriving in their new city on a holiday weekend in time to pick up their house keys.  When they exit the reality office with their key, baby, stroller, diaper bag, and cell phones they discover that the Jeep has been stolen.

The police are helpful but the “shocks” keep rolling in as they discover they have very little cash, no credit cards or bank money available and maybe no motel room available on this holiday weekend in October.  With an officer’s assistance and because Nate had stayed at one of the fancier hotels when he was job hunting; they were able to stay in a suite, raid the mini bar, and use their bit of cash for diapers and baby food.  The first steps towards finding home and ending THE EXILE experience.

Whenever we are in shock, humans need to search their history to find relief, to open the channels for recovery towards a future.  Much of Lynn’s story is the back story of childhoods of Nate and Emily. What were they hoping for, what are they giving up and how their future hinges on caring for baby Trevor.   Thus begins a secondary story about Nate’s father George, a fairly successful international, Chicago architect, who has distanced himself from his family because buildings are just more important to him and what they will say about him in his future.  George is also on the road heading to his father’s home in Rhode Island.  George has chosen his EXILE.

The author actually understands the finances of the practice of architecture, and I truly enjoyed reading about how the money flows in and out; that there are times of feast and the corresponding famine during the rhythms of any given year or season.  There was little mention of the CFO’s role in an architect’s life, I think it could have added more dimension to Nate’s character and his review of his mother’s experience.  I was happy I could read between the lines, interpret and maybe the reader does not need to make this connection, though it weighted my analysis into the plus column.

The novel is also about Huntington’s disease and how we all fear the loss of control or having our mind controlled.  How we do not want to pass any of our weaknesses on to our children and how those fears can propel our responsibilities and our outlook.    Too many secrets, which of course improved the telling of the story and the reader turning the pages; the writer is skilled at her craft.

I found myself on the third page hoping that this story would have a happy ending and as in the way of great storytellers I was satisfied with the last pages and wishing the characters well.   I enjoyed reading THE EXILES.

Allison Lynn Books  
About the Author page 

If you purchase anything from the site from Amazon or Powell’s I will receive a few blossoms in my bouquet.  Thank you.  Donations also welcomed.

tlc logo I received an uncorrected proof copy from TLC online book tours and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers.  I appreciated the good read and am pleased to share that there will be a giveaway copy of this book offered for a comment.  Yep!  A Free BOOK.

Related Reading:
The Fault In Our Stars
I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag
Lunch with Buddha & A Little Love Story (Cystic Fibrosis)
Our Love Could Light the World