James M.’s Reviews > One Wild and Precious Life

This book is a most interesting tale of a child, born of an affair at the end of WWII between a returning sailor and an sexy, savvy and free spirited woman, maybe a bit too free spirited. John begins his life with his parents, a coal miner and his wife in West Virginia. It isn’t until the death of his natural father that he learns that he is adopted. John constructs a vivid account to his biological parents as an introduction to his life. We then move with John and his family from this experiences of a hardscrabble life, to various moves following his construction working father throughout the Southern State, ending in “North” in Delaware, where he goes to high school, a classmate of mine. And we also get to meet and talk with his amazing half-Cherokee Grandmother, who seems to walk out of a tale by Mark Twain.

The marvelous thing about this book, is that I know John, and we’ve become friends in later life, not when we were classmates. We traveled in different social circles, with different aspirations, experiences and dreams. I was in the arts John in athletics. It is so good to get to know the jock I did not know, and the wide world that he–and we–have experienced since.

Friendship aside, this story is well worth reading. John is developing a style that is fresh, that seems he is talking to you personally. And his experiences are well worth listening to, envisioning, feeling the heat and mystery of a Florida swamp, or the rancor of a High School Coach. There are personal touches, yes, but they dance around my life, and are here, for all, and any to read.