4 out of 4 stars
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It’s no secret that some of the best stories are told by our parents and grandparents. We listen to them tell us stories about their childhood, their families, their first crushes, war stories and much more. When they impart their memories to us with physical mementos, like photos or old jewelry, we sometimes take it for granted. We don’t always appreciate the time we spend with loved ones are. We don’t realize how amazing their lives truly were. After all, it’s hard to imagine someone else’s life if you weren’t physically there.“Well… You know me, I’ve always loved telling stories. I wanted a way to remember important things that happened, so I just throw ‘em in a box in my closet. I figure someday they’ll be important to somebody somewhere.” -Bill, The Tattered Box
In spite of that, what if it were possible to travel back in time and physically experience your grandparent’s life? In Paul Schumacher’s The Tattered Box, readers see this exact scenario take place. In the book, we meet eighteen-year-old John who loves his grandfather dearly, but becomes weary from all of his stories from the past. One day, his grandfather hands him a tattered, worn box that is filled with many random items: an old baseball, toothpick, mitten, ring, feather and Bible. John ponders why his grandfather saved all these items and their significance. Later, a freak accident causes John to black out. When he wakes up, not only does he find himself living in the 1940s, but he happens to be best friends with Bill, his teenage grandfather! As John spends time with Bill, he lives his grandfather’s stories and learn the significance of each item in the box.
The author writes a compelling and heart-warming plot. The plot is well paced and will maintain a reader’s interest from start to finish. It is easy to tell that the author is quite a masterful storyteller himself. With each item in the box, the author weaves a tale on the role it played in Bill’s life. Even something as small as a feather has an amazing story behind it. The book has a nostalgic feel that will remind readers of stories that were told by their own grandparents.
The character, John, is just as compelling as the plot. At first, John seems like the ordinary teenager. He is concentrated on the current moment and his grandpa’s stories of the past has little appeal to him. Later, there is a growth and a sense of maturity develop in his character as he experiences the life that his grandfather lived. He’s also gains an appreciation of life and the people in it. He’s the kind of character that many will be able to relate to.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The premise of the plot is original and very well written. The author demonstrates his ability to write great stories within a story. The characters are well developed and relatable to the point where many readers will find themselves becoming fond of them. I would recommend this book to anyone who needs a life lesson on cherishing the people in your life and the stories that they tell you. People don’t live forever but the lessons and treasures they impart can last a lifetime.
The Tattered Box
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