Author: Sandra Kring
Genre: Fiction, Standalone
Personal Rating: 3.5/5 (good)
Yearly Count: 27
Set in Wisconsin in the early 40s, Jimmy enlists into the service before he is drafted. He leaves behind a mother, father and 16-year-old brother Earwig who is "simple minded."
Rating this book has made me feel bipolar. :( The storyline and dear character Earwig were terrific, but the language and childish bathroom humor was relentless and repulsive (okay, so repulsive may be a little bit strong here). Virtually ever book I read (or listen to) has foul language, and I am not usually bothered by it. So, it's not the language itself. It's who says it that bothers me. I do not like children (yes, teenagers are still children) to swear, especially in the way Earwig does. It grates on me and just doesn't sit well.
On the other side of the coin, I loved Earwig. He had a heart of gold and some amazing insights. There were times when I would literally sigh or say awe or just take a moment to rethink what he said. It wasn't necessarily what he said, but that he recognized it and put it into his simple language. He becomes a very endearing character and one you just want to hug.
So why can't I just forget about the swearing and rate on the storyline and characters? Because listening to that (and shuddering so often) was part of my experience. I don't think the constant swearing furthered anything (except my angst) in the storyline or the development of the characters, but I do understand the bathroom humor . . . a little. Nonetheless both were too much for me. I haven't given up on Kring though. She had me wrapped up in the scenario and attached to characters despite my dislike for how they talked. I think that speaks for itself!
What's your favorite Sandra Kring novel?