Book Reviews

Review: Back Side of a Blue Moon

by Caleb Pirtle III

A few notes here. First, the subject matter of this story is an easily forgotten, perhaps often overlooked yet vitally important component of American history. Poverty and despair played a major role in the lives of those people who stuck it out in the face of overwhelming odds, self-serving friends, and manipulative strangers. Seeing life from their viewpoint provides insight into America’s economic development that won’t be found in textbooks. For that reason, anyone seeking to truly understand our past would do well to view it through the facets of this fine tale.

Second, I’ve found Caleb Pirtle III to be a master storyteller and this book continues that tradition. You are not so much reading a story as experiencing it, such is his talent for description. These are not characters in a book; they are actors on a stage and you are standing among them on the dry, desolate and wind swept plains of Texas. You recognize the players, you know their smiles and smirks, their dreads and dreams, you’ve heard their claims, excuses and allegations somewhere in the past. You can picture their faces, the harsh stares and starry-eyed dreams of salvation from unforgiving times. Some of these people you despise, others you truly feel for. A great author can do that.

Finally, it is easy to get wrapped up in the plight of the characters Doc Bannister and Eudora Durant. Let yourself guess at where they are headed and how their story will end. Then hold your breath and prepare to be pleasantly surprised. I was.

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