Book Review – Brett McBean – The Awakening

The Awakening is a coming of age story that can easily hold its own with other stories of the sort.

Toby Fairchild is the main character and in this story we see him go up against bullies, fall in love and go through grief of befriending his next door neighbor Mr. Joseph.

Mr. Joseph is a man of the voodoo faith, a man of color, a man of sadness and ancient lore. He really takes the lead-I believe more than poor Toby, who goes through hell because of his new friend and neighbor Mr. Joseph.

I loved this story because of its feel of dealing with racial tensions in small town Ohio. I believe it’s truly for everyone above the low teens.

(Review by Brian Wemesfelder)

Book Description: Welcome to the small Midwestern town of Belford, Ohio. It’s a quiet, friendly town. On one corner of Main Street you’ll find Barb’s Corner Store. Opposite you’ll see the town square, with its neatly trimmed lawn and statuesque gazebo. There’s everything you need here. There’s even a local bogeyman. You know the type: reclusive, looks a little strange. The person all the kids are afraid of. Every town has one. Except this one is stranger than most.

Meet Mr. Joseph. With his severely crooked neck and nasty facial scar, the old man from Haiti is the one resident all the kids whisper about and are scared to go near. But there are things about Mr. Joseph no one knows about. He has no heartbeat. No breath passes by his lips. And he has been dead for over ninety years.

It’s summer vacation and fourteen-year-old Toby Fairchild is looking forward to spending a lazy, carefree summer playing basketball, staying up late watching monster movies, and camping out in his backyard with his best friend, Frankie.

But then tragedy strikes. And out of this tragedy an unlikely friendship develops between Toby and the strange old man across the street, Mr. Joseph. Over the course of a tumultuous summer, Toby will be faced with pain and death, the excitement of his first love, and the underlying racism of the townsfolk, all while learning about the value of freedom at the hands of a kind but cursed old man.

Author Profile: Brett Mcbean is best known as an award winning Australian horror and thriller writer with many great stories to tell.

He was born and lives,to the best of my knowledge, in the suburbs of Melbourne Australia’s

(The book shown is his limited edition hardcover which was published by Tasmaniac Publishing. This copy was a presentation copy to Ray Garton and is priceless as it is the only copy known in existence.)