Life on Litte River | 91-page novella | Author Ray Viverette
The novel is about a young boy’s coming of age in the rural South during the turbulent 1960s. The main character Braxton Hickman has been assigned to write his autobiography as a senior project for his English class. In it, he reveals a dark, sinister secret he has kept since he was in the eighth grade. This shocking event changes his life and puts him in a precarious dilemma that only he and his beloved father can come to terms with.
One of the strong points of the book is its allusions to great literature. Braxton loves to read adventure stories, and in the book, he tries to recreate Huck Finn’s trip on a raft down a river. The story has colorful, humorous vignettes of the character’s life events, but the trip down Little River is the glue that pulls all the characters and peripheral episodes together in an unforgettable narrative about family values, a sense of justice, and love.
Life on Little River, like Huckleberry Finn, is regional literature: realistic and, at times, brutally honest. The comments and reviews have been overwhelmingly favorable. One teacher wrote, “I received your book this afternoon and just finished reading it. I was completely amazed! It was beautifully written and such a touching story.”
Another retired AP English teacher wrote, “If you grew up in the South and remember the 60s, you’ll identify with the characters and events in Life on Little River. Those who never experienced this particular slice of life have a wonderful introduction awaiting them. This slim volume is fast and fun, but like some of its colorful characters, it packs a serious wallop, too. It may be the best book you will read in 2016.”
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