Sunday, 4 April 2021

#BlogTour Raft of Stars by Andrew J. Graff


It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Raft of Stars by Andrew J. Graff.

About the Author

Graff is the author of novel Raft of Stars. His fiction and essays have appeared in Image and Dappled Things. Andrew grew up fishing, hiking, and hunting in Wisconsin's Northwoods. After a tour of duty in Afghanistan, Graff earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Follow Andrew J. Graff on Amazon, Visit andrewjgraff.com

About the book 

It’s the summer of 1994 in Claypot, Wisconsin, and the lives of ten-year-old Fischer “Fish” Branson and Dale “Bread” Breadwin are shaped by the two fathers they don’t talk about.

One night, tired of seeing his best friend bruised and terrorized by his no-good dad, Fish takes action. A gunshot rings out and the two boys flee the scene, believing themselves murderers. They head for the woods, where they find their way onto a raft, but the natural terrors of Ironsforge gorge threaten to overwhelm them.

Four adults track them into the forest, each one on a journey of his or her own. Fish’s mother Miranda, a wise woman full of fierce faith; his granddad, Teddy, who knows the woods like the back of his hand; Tiffany, a purple-haired gas station attendant and poet looking for connection; and Sheriff Cal, who’s having doubts about a life in law enforcement.

The adults track the boys toward the novel’s heart-pounding climax on the edge of the gorge and a conclusion that beautifully makes manifest the grace these characters find in the wilderness and one another. This timeless story of loss, hope, and adventure runs like the river itself amid the vividly rendered landscape of the Upper Midwest.


Review

Being the polite and dutiful grandson he is, Fish leaves his grandfather a message telling him what they've taken, why they have to leave and what they did. Killing someone is secondary to making sure his family doesn't worry about him too much, although that's debatable given they are really young and have run away.

For me this had a nostalgic Stand By Me feel to it. A story of friendship, which threatens to break and equally grows stronger in the duration of this story and journey. Two boys bound together by fear, tragedy and also by the bonds of friendships.

As they embark upon said journey or escape, they see the world as only two young children can - in a heightened fantastical fashion. It's tinged with the fact they have both been forced to embrace the world of adult problems in their own way. Fish through the lack of his father and Bread because of the violence he experiences at the hands of his own father.

It's contemporary story with the flair of a literary read. If the characters were a little older I would say it's also a coming-of-age story, however I think what I will take away from it is the truth of true brotherhood and a family grown through grief and tragedy.

Buy Raft of Stars at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : HQ pub date 23 Mar. 2021. Buy at Amazon com. At Waterstones.

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