The Flamingo Rising by Larry Baker - 332 pages
In this touching, hilarious novel of the heart and mind, of dreams and memory, of desire and first love, Abe Lee comes of age in the 1960s, living with his unforgettable family at the Flamingo Drive-In Theatre on a scrubby patch of coast between Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida. There, some of America's last sweet moments of innocence are unfolding.
For Abe's father, Hubert, there's nothing better than presenting larger-than-life Hollywood fantasies on his vast silver screen. Nothing, that is, except gleefully sparring with Turner West--a funeral home operator who doesn't much appreciate the noise and merriment from the drive-in next door. Within the lively orbit of this ongoing feud is Abe's mother, Edna Marie, whose calm radiance conceals deep secrets; his sister, Louise, who blossoms almost too quickly into a stunning, willful young woman; and Judge Lester, a clumsy man on the ground who turns graceful when he takes to the sky, towing the Flamingo banner behind his small plane. Then Abe falls for Turner's beautiful daughter Grace. That's when, long before the Fourth of July festivities, the fireworks really begin. . . .
My review: 4 stars
My book club decided to read this book as it was a selection on the required reading list at our kid's high school. A group of parent extremists wanted to have it banned from the selection options as well as many other books.
As the girls in my book club are all consummate readers, we were crazy mad about the folks who want ANY books banned but we decided to pick one of them and read it to see what the fuss was all about.
Well, we're still trying to figure that one out. Yes, there was a virginity lost. Yes, it was consensual. NO, it wasn’t told graphically at all.
I found this book to be a great coming of age story from a young boy in Florida who lives in the drive-in movie theater, The Flamingo. There is a host of interesting characters that make this story a great read.
Tags: Fiction, Coming Of Age, 2011
Labels: 2011, Book Club, Coming Of Age, Fiction