The Book of Charlie

Spirit of the Pompey Hollow Book Club

It’s a coming of age story beginning with a summer vacation, climaxing on a full moonlit Halloween night. They’re teens now – and their club president, Mary Crane, decides to follow her teacher’s suggestion of getting a Pen Pal for the summer. She writes to a boy her mother had read about in the newspaper – a Pennsylvania lad. He writes back. As the summer unfolds one of the teens is witness to a crime in progress. Innocently the young Pen Pal to the club’s president unwittingly helps them not only solve the mystery of just who the crooks are but they also solve what turns out to be an unresolved military mystery dating back to the War and still lingering in the shadows of the D-Day invasion. Was it coincidence that Mary’s Pen Pal just happens to be a grandson of the president of the United States? It’s more than a Halloween story, it’s a history book. It might be to today’s chronicles of the past what Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was in 1884. With a backdrop of rural life and times as they were in 1953 this novel reawakens our faded memory and colorfully illustrates two vanishing landmarks, both epics of an American culture and world history. The family farm for one and sad as it may be, the fleeting memories of the pivotal D-Day Invasion under Supreme Commander General Dwight David Eisenhower – the other. Without either we could have lost the War. This novel brings them both back to life in absorbing detail - it’s a fable with a solid footing of the times for the tale’s lasting cultural relevance. It all happened amidst five country towns, a few villages and hamlets where more than sixty five family farms were busy raising children, apples, corn, and wheat, and - all told - milking about 3,200 cows.


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