Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

End of Summer by Michael Potts

End of Summer by Michael Potts
Published By: WordCrafts Press
Release Date: November 24, 2011
Format: Paperback - 266 pages / Kindle - 339 KB / Nook - 592 KB
ISBN: 0615564100
Genre: Southern Literary Fiction

About The Author:

Michael Potts grew up near Smyrna, Tennessee and is currently Professor of Philosophy at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina. His undergraduate degree (in Biblical Languages) is from David Lipscomb University. He also holds a Master of Theology from Harding University Graduate School of Religion, a Master of Arts (in Religion) from Vanderbilt University, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from The University of Georgia. Michael has sixteen articles in scholarly journals, nine book chapters, six encyclopedia articles, two book reviews, and he co-edited the book, Beyond Brain Death: The Case Against Brain Based Criteria for Human Death, which was published in 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers. He also has over thirty scholarly presentations, including one presented at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at The Vatican in 2005. Michael is a 2007 graduate of The Writers Loft at Middle Tennessee State University and a 2007 graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. His poetry has been published in Journal of the American Medical Association, Iodine Poetry Journal, Poems & Plays, and other literary journals. His poetry chapbook, From Field to Thicket, won the 2006 Mary Belle Campbell Poetry Book Award of the North Carolina Writers network. His creative nonfiction essay, Haunted, won the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Award, also sponsored by the North Carolina Writers Network. Besides reading and writing, he enjoys vegetable gardening, canning, and ghost investigations (just for fun!). He and his wife, Karen, live with their three cats, Frodo, Rosie, and Pippin, in Linden, North Carolina.


BUY THE BOOK: End of Summer

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from WordCrafts Press Publishers in exchange for my honest review, and for hosting a virtual book event.

Virtual Book Event: On Wednesday, May 16, 2012, Jersey Girl Book Reviews hosted a virtual book event for author Michael Potts with an Author Interview.

Book Description: 

 A young boy. An old man. And a journey of the heart.

My fraternal twin, Michael, died two hours after birth, drowning from fluid in his lungs. When I was two, my Mom and Dad were killed in a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer. I was reared by Granddaddy and Granny, who had lived with my folks in the same rented home. I remembered neither my parents' lives nor their deaths. I suppose that's a blessing and a curse. My grandparents had provided details my young mind could understand, but I pushed them away. I did not want them.

Back in that field after thirty years, I stood poised at the edge of an abyss.

End of Summer is a poignant, literary novel that explores the mysteries of life, love and death through the eyes of a nine year old boy ... interpreted by the man he grew to be.

My Book Review:

Jeffrey Conley returns to his childhood home in Tennessee to attend his Granny's funeral. As he roams the property, he recalls memories of the summer when he was nine years old. It was that summer that his world would change forever when he faces the most difficult loss of his life, the death of his Granddaddy. Since the age of two, Jeffrey was raised by his grandparents, his parents had been killed in a head-on crash with a tractor-trailer. He has no memory of his parents' lives nor their death, but his grandparents had provided him with the details of their lives and death. Life with his grandparents was good, he felt safe and loved with them. But as Jeffrey grows older, he is obsessed about death (the exact cause of death), and he also obsesses about the physical heart to the point where it becomes a fetish, because hearing a woman's heartbeat is arousing to him. As his obsession grows, his wife, Lisa, becomes concerned and when Jeffrey begins to feel like he is getting out of control, he goes to a psychologist for counseling sessions and is diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, which is a mild form of autism. As he returns to his childhood home thirty years later, Jeffrey seeks out his favorite place on the property, The Thicket, his own little piece of Eden, where by reliving his childhood memories he will face his obsessions, the most difficult loss in his life, and hopefully find acceptance and peace of mind.

End of Summer is a poignant and moving story that will tug at your heartstrings. The story is told in the first person narrative by Jeffrey, and alternates between flashbacks to his childhood (age 9) and his present age (39). The storyline is intriguing and thought provoking, as the author interweaves Jeffrey's childhood and adult obsession of death and the physical heart with the most difficult loss that changed his life and molded the man he became. The attention to detail in the flashbacks to Jeffrey's childhood in the 1960s is phenomenal. The author transports the reader back to that decade to the Southern Appalachian country way of living. With lazy summer days spent in the fields or sitting on the porch swing, to Sunday supper with the family after attending church, to the old black and white television shows like The Three Stooges and Red Skelton, to going to Sears in Nashville for new dress shoes, to reading issues of Reader's Digest, and the old-fashioned red Coca-Cola machine, the author provides the reader with flashbacks to the 1960s Americana. As Jeffrey journeys through the memories of his childhood, he will realize how the changes in his life that long ago summer are both enlightening and heart wrenching, as he realizes that he can't hide or deny that changes and death do occur in life, and that the cherished memories of lost loved ones will always remain with him.

End of Summer is an inspiring and thought provoking Southern fictional novel of one man's journey to overcome his obsession with death and find peace through the power of cherished memories.


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