By: Patrick M. Garry
Publisher: Kenric Books
Publication Date: August 2014
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: October 14, 2014
Patrick M. Garry spins a deliciously delightful tale that teeters between the conflict of too many regrets and its adversarial prospect of hope and new beginnings in his latest novel Finding Flipper Frank.
Walt Honerman’s life hadn’t always been a routine that didn’t reach much beyond three squares a day. After prison, however, he never thought he’d leave his native Baltimore and end up in Oakdale, Montana. His Uncle Henry had a lot to do with the latter part of that statement. Henry moved to Montana seven years before and convinced Walt to do the same. He could use his apartment now that Henry’s new residence was the Oakdale Nursing Home. Walt didn’t have much vision or purpose and Uncle Henry’s proposition convinced him to travel west and spend his final years keeping him company. Walt got a job, construction, and built a reputation for being quite crafty and handy at his trade. Uncle Henry was the last living blood relative Walt had—this is until he found himself taking care of his funeral arrangements.
For a time leading up to his passing, Henry worked Walt relentlessly until he extracted his promise to return to Baltimore for the great Cal Ripkin’s final game. It wasn’t long after the promise was made that Henry passed quietly. What Walt hadn’t bargained for was company during the promised road trip back east. There was an eclectic gathering of friends at the funeral who were not only there to pay their final respects to Henry, but support Walt; the nephew they’d all grown quite fond of. Henry also knew a few peculiar sorts—Izzy Dunleavey, for starters. It seemed he had plans to travel back east to resurrect his grandiose resort nestled by the sea in Crawfish Bay, Maryland. The last thing Walt needed was an eccentric and somewhat curmudgeonly old guy by his side for the 2,000 mile trek across the country. When Moira Kelly approaches Walt for passage east, maybe her purpose is to act as the buffer between the two as much as it is Walt’s destiny.
Patrick M. Garry has penned an intriguing story. He has intricately developed three utterly mismatched personalities and mastered the harmony of their characters when developed across the pages. Situations during their road trip from the mighty Montanan west to the salty Baltimore shoreline left this reader laughing in one moment and holding my heart in the next. I found myself connecting most with Walt Honerman. In many respects, Mr. Garry has chosen him to be a man likened to damaged goods. Honerman goes to prison a young, college graduate and exits a grown man. The secondary roles assigned to Moira and Izzy are the temperance to Honerman’s unshakable guilt. Mr. Garry easily manages to tug at the reader’s heartstrings as much as he is able to exasperate the reader through strategically placed prose. The delicate balance between both premises throughout this book is yummy! I praise Patrick Garry for his accomplishment of writing an easy-to-read, fast-paced and without question, delightful story. It is abundantly clear Mr. Garry is fully equipped with the necessary tools of what it takes to spin a good read. Bravo! I look forward to your next novel.
Quill says: Road Trips are the backbone of Americana. Finding Flipper Frank is one road trip that lingers on in memory long after the last page has been turned.