“We honour the people we lost by loving again” – Marie Force
Author Philip Oyok’s latest novel ‘Lemmon’s Journey’ narrates the story of Lemmon Grandee, a sixty year old man attempting to reunite his family and the power of second chances in life. Having recently retired from a job he held for 36 years, he finds his days at home in a small town in America dwindling away to obscurity. A tragic incident soon leads to an astonishing revelation about his daughter and grandson who had left home years ago. Determined to get his family back, he pulls away from his depressing routine and sets out on an eventful journey to New York City where he must face more heart breaking news first before finding love & redemption.
Reiterating the fact that coming of age or finding yourself can happen at virtually any age, the author presents Lemmon Grande, a senior citizen who discovers a whole new side to him when put to some very harsh tests in life. Early on in the book the author takes you into the inner workings of Lemmon Grandee’s mind, showing Lemmon come to terms with his age and post retirement life. Divided into three sections, each one deals with a separate part of Lemmon’s life. And even though all sections have the same thread of story line running through it, each one manages to show him in a different light. And this is where the transformation of his character has been captured brilliantly. In the beginning after his retirement he is shown as this quiet man, never letting others know what’s going on in his mind. But this all changes rapidly after the twin tragedies that befall him; he then becomes more emotive and starts wearing his heart on his sleeves.
Purely in terms of storytelling, it’s a brave move that the author has taken by making a 60 year old the protagonist of his novel and that too a man who spends most of the time crumbled down and crying. But none of this really matter because barely a chapter into the book and the character of Lemmon would have won you over and you would be hard pressed not to undertake this long and arduous journey along with him. The book also has an old world charm to it, accentuated by a few details that the author has noted like old timer characters without cell phones and young children riding in Schwinn bicycles. The author has also captured a side of New York City that is sparingly explored in fiction. The city becomes a character unto itself; it is dark, cold, menacing and unforgiving to outsiders trying to make it in there.
With a great lead and a fantastic array of secondary characters, this is a book filled with lots of beauty, heartache, forgiveness, redemption and the power of undying love. And that is why Lemmon’s Journey becomes a book that you shouldn’t miss.
Print Length: 221 pages
Publisher: AuthorHouse UK (December 7, 2014)