A huge welcome and thank you to all the Pearland folks I had the privilege and meet or get re-acquainted with yesterday at the Kroger on 518 and Berry Rose. I graduated Pearland High School, class of ’73. Thank you all for a great sales day. I hope you read my book(s) and give me a review. I love reviews. I do reviews of books myself because I know how important they are to each author. A review can be a few words or it can be wordy. Most of my reviews are not as extensive as the one below. But on my blog I like to recommend books to you, kind reader, for you enjoyment in future. So here is the latest:
I don’t think I’ve read such a great book in a while, which means, though I’ve read several good books in the last few weeks, this one stands above the rest.
The White Devil by Justin Evans is told from the point of view of a seventeen year old American boy who has been sent to one of the most prestigious public (means private) schools in England. His fears and his goal are laid out immediately. He fears his parents have given him an ultimatum that if he can’t complete this last year of school before college they will kick him out, as in “to the curb’. His goal is to complete his year at this new school without incident. So now he is in a foreign country in a foreign environment where English – though English – is like a foreign language. English public schools are like this apparently. Not to worry, kind reader, he makes up a list of strange words with definitions at the beginning. You won’t get lost.
This boy, Andrew, was haunted by something that had happened at the last expensive private school, his parents had sent him to. Now at this new school Andrew experiences a strange heavy pall descending upon him. After the death of his friend, he recalls this experience and together with the horrible “sighting” of his friend being murdered (though it couldn’t possibly have happened that way) decides that he is being haunted. But by whom and why? All remains a mystery until he is declared the spitting image of Lord Byron who had attended the school – Harrow- over a century preciously. Andrew is cast in a play about Lord Byron put on by a headmaster who is himself being hounded by other faculty at the college for his ineptitude and drunkenness.
You know, I love a good story within a story within a story told in such a way that I understand everything. There is a story about Lord Byron in all this. And The White Devil is an old and obscure play by John Webster. The research that the author must have put into this is astounding. So much real history interwoven with a fictional story that is as fantastical as it is beautiful. Except for the ghost. The ghost is horrifying. I found myself choking for breath near the end of the story. I can’t say more because I don’t want to spoil it for you. I found this book cheap (or maybe it was free) on bookbub’s email they send me every day. The Kindle version is 9.99 at the moment. (It’s bookbub.com) I’ve made a policy of free books only this year but I don’t know how long I’ve had this book on my Kindle. I have to say that it is worth it to read. All the better if you can find it at your library. You can always ask your librarian to order it. (As you can with my books, too, by the way. Just saying.)
You want to know the real kicker? Here’s the kicker. At the end, in the author acknowledgments, he says that as he was writing he was recalling not only his own days at Harrow but that of another boy’s experience as well. Yikes! Spooky stuff.