Title: The Lock of Indian Springs
Author: Laverne Collins
Genre: Family/Coming of Age/Drama
Review: The opening chapter to this novel was ok, it was that gripping but it pique my interest purely because it is set in Mississippi during the 1960’s where there is still a huge race issue in America. I thought Vern was a cute character but he did have any really substance to him. I also like that each chapter represents a day – so chapter one was a Saturday and so on and so forth. At one point in this opening chapter I was very confused at why Vern was so worried about losing his father’s screwdriver and why those tool were so important to the story. I was concerned at first because of the amount of religion content but this play to Vern’s’ state of mind as he is deeply concerned he will go to Hell for losing his father’s screwdriver and helping take things that don’t belong to him and the American South at this period in time was a deeply religious and superstitious place, although I really dislike religion as a main theme in books regardless of the context in which it is there.
Vern is a likeable character and the family unit as a whole seems very loving and content despite falling occasionally on hard times. Everyone within the town works hard and helps each other. Most of the book is quite soft, working through the day to day lives of Vern, his family and everyone they come into contact with. Although in the background of these soft scenes the racial and political tensions run high. I really loved reading how each member of the family interacts with each other especially between the parents where it is clear they love each other very much and are extremely playful with each other and the relationship between Vern and his sister. I also found it a bit strange that the mother and children attend church but their father doesn’t and I was curious to find out whether there was a reason for this. I loved being inside the small rural community and learning the way they live and their own unique customs and daily routines. Despite not having a lot of action the book is entertaining and very family/community orientated and overall just has a very soft, light feel despite being slightly overshadowed by death but as Vern learns death is inevitable, he also learns a lot of life lessons like not be cheating out of money you earned, being charitable when it is required and replacing things you’ve lost or broken at your own expense.
The lock that James found in this being of the novel and gave to Vern still makes the odd appearance but still doesn’t have any real significance yet. Until we learn that it once belonged to a woman married to a freed slave and it was made and used during the civil war period. I loved the fact the book is set over the period of one week yet we feel like we have known the family their whole lives and really connect with them on a personal level as we share common issues like money troubles, work, children etc. and even though it is set in a different time and country it makes the book far more relatable to reader. Although I would have like some more drama to spur me on during the times when the book felt mundane I really enjoyed just merging myself with the lives of the characters and getting lost in their lives.
The ending of this book was great as we see Vern beginning his transition from a boy into a man as he learns the labours of work and the rewards it can bring as well as making friends and honing his own skills. This book was a soft and fluffy, it was also easy and quick to read and made a great change from all the series I have been reading lately.
This book was sent to me for review by Champlain Avenue Books
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