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Billy Goat Hill
by Mark Stanleigh Morris

Category: Fiction / General
0 pages; ISBN: 1590524063

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

Billy Goat Hill
Mark Stanleigh Morris
Multnomah, 2004
ISBN: 1590524063

In 1958 Los Angeles, infant Matthew Parker stops breathing. His parents and two older brothers are stunned with his death. Not long afterward, their dad deserts his family leaving their emotionally numb mom to bring in income. Eight year old Wade takes care of his six years old brother Luke.

Still boys will be boys as the two siblings along with pal Gooey climb Billy Goat Hill to cardboard slide down the Crippler at four in the morning when they run into Scar, Miss Cherry and their gang. Already frightened Wade tries to brazen their way out when murder occurs. They escape, but as usual no one is there for Wade who is there for Luke; he turns to the Dodgers and Charlie Neal and Duke Snider as imaginary friends.

Now forty, an age he never expected to reach, Wade looks back at his life. He is at a crossroad in which he can join the materialistic world of his biological father or he can turn to the heavenly world of the Father. He thinks both deserted him along with his mother when he was eight; only the imaginary Duke and Luke was there for him.

BILLY GOAT HILL is a deep look inside a man whose childhood is shattered when neither of his parents coped with the death of their youngest. Readers will empathize with Wade who lost more than just his innocence during that year; he lost his beliefs in God and adults. Scar in a twisted way becomes his role model. Readers will cherish this powerful character study while asking the same question that Wade ponders about going home to a nightmare of grief, alcohol and homicide.

Harriet Klausner

 

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