There Were Also Strangers

Borden Deal, Author New Horizon Press $15.95 (219p) ISBN 978-0-88282-018-7
Fantasists had better have a light, sure touch, an element lacking in this hard-to-credit journey back to a time when the 13-year-old narrator, Borden, was beginning to question the shibboleths that governed his life. Confronted one day while hoeing cotton by Charles, similar to himself in age and size but a world apart in sophistication, Borden abandons his work and follows where this strange boy leads. They meet thereafter at night, so that Charles can show Borden how steamy life really is (sexual orgies, marital hatred, madness) in this Southern, God-worshipping village. Eventually he is lured to the house of Charles's grandmother, who will complete Borden's awakening to his own sensibilities and to greater understanding of the world. Charles is clearly an alter ego, a personal demon, whom Borden must exorcise now that he has developed inner knowledge. In the book's most gripping scene, he rids himself of his guide and tormenter and returns cleansed to the cloyingly sweet little girl who is already acting like a wife of 20 years. In spite of its canned corn-pone language and undeveloped characters, this clearly autobiographical work will be of interest to Deal's admirers. November
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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