By: Jonathan Anthony Burkett
Publication Date: December 2009
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: February 2011
With this contemporary fiction work, Mr. Burkett brings us into the Daniels’ family household. Charles and Susan Daniels are working parents who spend a great deal of time watching over their two boys, Claude and Troy. Claude is entering his senior year as we begin our story, and his parents are so proud. They don’t want anything to happen to him at school; they are looking forward to his graduation and entering college.
His brother is Troy. Troy is twenty years old and still a senior in high school. Nice enough, Troy is simply missing some math credits in order to finally get that elusive diploma. Unfortunately, Troy also has found himself in some violent situations; and Claude – all summer long – has been hanging out with Troy’s friends, going to parties, and basically acting as ridiculous as his brother. The one upside? Troy is completely protective of Claude. He, like their parents, wants nothing to jeopardize Claude’s future. Even his own father makes a point to let Troy know that he needs to stand in front of Claude if necessary to keep him from fights, etc.
The first day at school a slight fender bender happens in the parking lot between Claude’s father and the father of another young man. All of a sudden violence erupts and Claude and Troy watch their father get beaten by the other driver and have to rush to take him home and out of harm’s way. When they find out from their father that this is all based on a vendetta that happened years ago, Claude and Troy find themselves in the midst of something they shouldn’t have been a part of, and Troy knows that revenge will be sought.
The horrific violence that happens ends up taking Claude’s brother and father from his life, and the hands of fate take his grandmother with a heart attack, and his mother at the hands of suicide. What Claude does have left is his absolute best friend, Kelly, who has stood by him for a long, long time. In the back of both their minds they have always thought that their friendship would someday grow into a relationship that would lead them down the aisle as man and wife, but life’s hardships and circumstances must be overcome before even knowing if there will even be a future.
The author takes us through Claude’s experiences in college, working storylines of other females, other love interests for Kelly, college parties, and youthful mistakes that are made in order to enter the world of adulthood. Although the story is uplifting at times, and seeing the courage that Claude has in his soul is overwhelming, the dialogue needs a bit of help from an editor so that the manuscript can read easier and be more understandable as one makes their way through.
Quill says: A touching story of romance that is enhanced by a collection of poems inserted throughout. These wonderful odes center on the subjects of friendship, love, and life and are extremely heartfelt.