Friday, April 03, 2009

East Garrison: My Review

During my dad's Air Force years my parents moved frequently, as is the norm in the military. They lived in places noted for good weather and bad--in Colorado Springs Colorado and in Kapuskasing Canada, in Biloxi Mississippi and Duluth Minnesota. Of all the places they lived, my mother only remembered one she didn't like, and the weather is what she didn't like. Was she complaining about the snow and cold in Kapuskasing? Nope. Did the heat and humidity in Biloxi get her down? Nope. The place with the weather that she really disliked was Monterey California. Every day (it seemed) for the year that we were there, the early part of the day was cold and foggy. By afternoon it was somewhat warmer, but it never got hot. It was gloomy all the time. If you look at the cover of East Garrison, which is set in Monterey, at Fort Ord, a decommissioned Army Post, you'll see fog. It sets the gloomy mood for the entire book. If you've read my blog for any length of time you'll notice that I like happy and light, not gloomy, so I'll admit I didn't like this book as much as some I've read. I will say it was well written though.

Let me introduce you to the characters:
  • Jack: A Viet Nam vet suffering from PTSD and psychosis. He is homeless, living in a van with a dog. He abandoned his family years ago, and the dog came with him. He grows pot in the abandoned areas of Ft. Ord. He is a neo-Nazi and believes there is no religion higher than the truth. He hallucinates.
  • Tracy: Jack's daughter. She is in the final stages of pregnancy. She has a very poor self-image, poor judgment and does not feel secure in her husband's love. She works in the media center at the college that is on Ft. Ord property.
  • Will. Her husband. He is a police officer and his force's job includes the Ft. Ord area. He is a Christian (and no, this book is NOT Christian fiction). However, he is the most "together" of all the main characters.
  • Angela. A student at the college. An environmentalist, feminist, Goddess worshipper. She works for Tracy and is her friend.
Short summary: Tracy is about to have the baby and all her insecurities are shining forth. Will tells her that, based on a report from Angela and a van seen by another officer, it looks like Jack is on the Ft. Ord property. She decides she needs to reconcile with him before the baby is born. She gets Angela to take her to where she saw his pot plants. Remember what I said about gloomy and if you have a weak stomach, don't read the book. The ending however isn't all bad--I think--after reading someone else's review and the end of the book again, I'm not quite sure--but since I like happy endings, I'm going to say it was.

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