Boarding Pass

Paul Cumbo. One Lane Bridge Publications, $18 paper (338p) ISBN 978-0-9882086-0-5
After watching a news report about old friend Trey's heroism as a firefighter, college senior Matt Derby, the narrator of Cumbo's debut novel, embarks on a journey to reconnect with Trey and understand how this "trust-fund baby" became a firefighter in a small Wyoming town. Matt—now uncertain about his future—and Trey shared a brief but intense friendship as roommates in boarding school before Trey was expelled. By remembering and reuniting with Trey, Matt is forced to examine his values and determine which path he wants to follow. While occasionally bogged down in extraneous description and clunky prose, the novel hits its stride when focusing on the relationship between the two boys and how that friendship influenced their lives. Cumbo writes a tender coming-of-age novel that captures "the desperate, saccharine type of love and hate that exist simultaneously between boys growing up together," evocative of A Separate Peace.
Reviewed on: 07/08/2013
Release date: 12/01/2012
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Ebook - 978-0-9882086-1-2
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