Monday, July 15, 2013

Return to Oakpine review

4 friends grew up together in Oakpine, Wyoming, some going their separate ways after graduation and others sticking around. Craig and Frank stuck out life in the small town, while Mason moved to Denver after college and became a lawyer. Jimmy, however, ran away to NYC after a family tragedy, never returning to the town or his friends. Until now -- 30 years later. 

While the guys were in high school they had a rock band that took over their lives. When they're all back together in one place, they start to think that getting the band back together might just help them all deal with the latest curveball life has thrown. 

I wasn't sure what I was going to think going into this. Though I'm not typically biased about books with male main characters, this one had 4 men in the main roles and the whole story centered around their issues. I wasn't sure I would be able to connect with any of them enough to invest myself. I was definitely wrong. 

Author Ron Carlson made me care about each of the men and their unique friendship. I found myself flashing back to my tiny high school class, wondering if any of the groups of guys I know were close then are still close now. The bond these men had was pretty amazing and the idea of getting a band back together really was the best thing they ever could have done. 

The plot was believable, the characters well-written, and I definitely needed a tissue box by the end. My favorite part though was Larry and his amazing descriptions of running. If Ron Carlson isn't a runner then I want to know where his inspiration came from, because he totally gets it! 

Thanks to Penguin for the review copy! 

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