Monday, July 4, 2016

Book Review: The Letter from Penobscot Mills

From an early age, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. In my grade school years, I would sneak my journal out from under my pillow and creep to the dim light shining from the hallway beneath my closed bedroom door at night. There, lying on my stomach, I would compose poems and stories long after my bedtime. While my parents might not have lauded this disobedience, they certainly encouraged me to write. In addition, I was blessed with some good teachers who also stood on the sidelines, nurturing my enthusiasm and, perhaps, my abilities. One such teacher was my fourth grade teacher, Mr. Philip Bouchard. When I discovered recently that he had published his own novel, I was determined to not only read it, but also own an autographed copy.

The Letter from Penobscot Mills takes a fresh approach for a novel. It is written in nine short stories about the inhabitants of the small paper mill town, Penobscot Mills. These stories culminate in a final one that reveals the truth of the interwoven tales and solves the murder mystery. Bouchard has done an excellent job of weaving the details together, much like the pieces of a kaleidoscope merging together to create a colorful image. Each chapter provides snippets of varying perspectives. With excellent pacing, the conflict steadily intensifies. The villain is despicably evil and the reader cannot wait to see him brought to justice.

While the writing was very good, there were times when I might have put the book down if I hadn't known the author, but this was primarily because it wasn't quite as clean as the books I tend to pick up. Thus, I wouldn't recommend it to my Christian readers or my minister parents. Still, I have to say, apart from a few unsavory bits, it was a good read, full of suspense and intrigue. I wanted to know what really happened. I wish Mr. Bouchard the best of success with his endeavors and many satisfied readers for any future books he might write. Maybe one day, I'll be able to send him an autographed copy of one of my own novels. One day.

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