4 out of 4 stars
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My Only Sunshine by Lou Dischler is the fictional story of a family of misfits whose lives go from one hilarious situation to another. Nine-year-old Charlie Boone narrates the story as he and his younger brother, Jute, watch the antics of the adults around them and create some of their own. Charlie's Uncle Dan has just escaped from prison and is posing as a Bible salesman, but when a local pastor discovers what is inside the Bibles, Dan's career abruptly ends. So he and his girlfriend, Lona, turn to bank robbery. Charlie's and Jute's father is in prison, so they live with their grandparents. Memaw is a pistol-packing grandma who washes her gun in the kitchen sink every Sunday and hangs it on a hook to dry, whether she has used it or not. Pawpaw is laid-back; not much can stir him up.
When Charlie and Jute used two of Memaw's best spoons to dig a hole in the field, saltwater started pouring out. The water kept spreading and getting deeper until Pawpaw built a levee around it to keep it from spreading farther. He named it Charlie's Hole. Things kept going from bad to worse for the Boone family. What will happen to Charlie, Jute, and their family? How will Charlie's Hole change their lives forever?
Lou Dischler has written a humorous account of the Boones, a family that seems destined to lives of crime and whose unlawful deeds are an everyday way of life. The story is well written, and the characters, strange as they are, are endearing. I couldn't help but have a soft spot for them. I guess you could say they grow on you as you follow their dysfunctional lives. I had many good laughs from this book. The writing is simple, easy to understand, and hilarious.
My favorite part was when Charlie and Jute dug the hole now known as Charlie's Hole, and Pawpaw sent Charlie into the water to find Memaw's spoons. Charlie stepped in and suddenly found himself underwater, too deep to stand in. I think it is fair to say—Charlie never found Memaw's spoons. There wasn't anything I disliked about this book. Dischler's goal was to give the reader a light-hearted and humorous read, and I have to say he reached his goal. Throughout the book, there is the occasional strong language that may not be suitable for readers who are offended by profanity. I believe the book is professionally edited, as I found only a few errors.
I am happy to rate this book 4 out of 4 stars for the humor in the story, the excellent character development, and the overall enjoyment I experienced reading it. I did not remove any stars because I felt the positive aspects outweighed the few errors and the occasional strong language. I recommend this book to those who enjoy a good comedy-of-errors and a good laugh while reading. However, I don't recommend it to young teens due to the profanity and one short description of nudity and sexual content.
My Only Sunshine
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