Thursday, 29 September 2011

Ten Mile River

You wouldn't think that 'Ten Mile River', by Paul Griffin, would be his debut novel. But it is - a strong accomplished read that perfectly captures the life and language of New York City teenagers.

Ray and Jose are living rough and on the wrong side of the law. They were both brought up in foster homes and consider themselves closer than brothers. They are surrounded by shady characters who generally try to take advantage of them.

Like Jerry, for instance, who manipulates them into stealing cars. On one memorable occasion the boys' efforts go pear shaped as Ray swerves a stolen car to avoid hitting a squirrel, leading to their apprehension. Jose's struggles with the English language are a constant source of amusement throughout the novel.

'You go right, I'll' go left,' says Jose as they sneak around an empty house. They both go right.

Or when Jose describes an employer they both respect as a 'father figurine'.

Amidst the rough and tumble of their lives is Trini, the beautiful but incompetent hairdresser, who Ray adores but who ends up going out with Jose.

I didn't want this book to end, and look forward to further novels by this author.



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