Jul 09, 09
Recommended to Jennifer by:
People in the Twin Cities who like a local Mystery story
Read in July, 2009, read count: 1
This book was really good! It told the story of Calvin (Cal) Gant. The year is 1949 and Cal is in his Senior Year at St. Paul Central. He is in Football and Basketball. He has a set of friends that he pals around with. And he has an after school job so he can save up for his own car. Everything is pretty darn good - and then he meets Gretchen Luttermann. This sad beat up little waif of a girl catches Cal's attention and his life changes. Suddenly his worries about Basketball and girls seem a little less important.
I don't want to add spoilers on this - but I have to say this wasn't quite what I expected. I thought it would be all seedy and more of a Double Indemnity kind of a thing. Instead I found myself really liking Cal and feeling bad for Gretchen. When I started reading it I was concerned that it was being narrated from a 1940's era teenage boy. I was expecting a "Golly Beave!" at any moment. It never happened of course. The characters had that understated simplicity about them that you get with some of the great writers. Where they let motif and atmosphere and action define the character rather than telling you straight out. It was really fun to find myself thinking about the importance of animals in this story for example. Those are some muscles in my head I do not flex very often anymore!
As for the end - it was satisfying but just a little too neat for me. I don’t think it was incrediably realisitic - but it was satisfying.