A Promise to Catie

Judd Holt, Author University of North Texas Press $19.95 (242p) ISBN 978-0-929398-41-9
In an affecting first novel, a middleage narrator looks back on his 1950s adolescence in rural Texas. Uprooted firom his comfortable Dallas home to live on a run-down farm outside the small college town of Oakpoint, where his father has taken a teaching position, Billy Griffin becomes aware of a mysterious presence: a young girl whom only he can see. With the aid of an eccentric old black woman, he contacts his ghostly friend, Catie, who died in 1938. Although at first she doesn't speak and appears only occasionally, Bill falls in love with Catie and even takes her out on a date to the Burgers and Cream Drive-In. They share a year of wistful romance; then Catie vanishes again, after Billy promises he will never forget her. The matter-of-fact style and flat delivery of the adult Billy's naation make these unusual events believable; Catie becomes as real to the reader as she is to him. Holt's affection for the East Texas landscape is evident on every page, and his chronicle of growing up there evokes a time when children's imaginations had not been flattened by television. This sweet and simple story will appeal to those partial to a gentle tale of love. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
Ebook - 230 pages - 978-0-585-26313-7
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