Karen's Reviews > Sweet Dream Baby

Sweet Dream Baby by Sterling Watson
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Jun 26, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: i-read-it-you-should
Recommended for: Everyone
Read in January, 2002

One of my favorite books, a story that has stayed with me since I read it five years ago; there’s something about Travis that grabbed my heart. It’s the 1950’s and twelve-year-old Travis is having a tough childhood: his beloved Japanese mother is in a mental institution, leaving him in the care of his emotionally unavailable Marine father, and he is constantly tormented by a redneck teenage neighbor. His life changes dramatically when he leaves Omaha to spend the summer with his father's family in Widow Rock, Florida. Travis's grandfather is the town's stern sheriff, his grandmother is often bedridden with headaches or heat exhaustion and his saucy Aunt Delia ("the subject of eighty percent of all Widow Rock Gossip Reports") is a 16-year-old spitfire. Travis is smitten by her verve from the moment she screeches to a halt in her '55 Chevy, and aunt and nephew bond quickly. Delia trusts her secrets with Travis, and he gains a masculine sense of protectiveness as he learns about the power of sex, lust and violence. Besotted with Delia, Travis loses emotional control and commits an outrageous act. The suspense builds to an explosive ending, and Travis's coming of age is brutal, touching and memorable.
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