Calvin is in his eighties when we first meet him, and his
beloved wife Mellie has recently died. He'd cared for her
at home and his day now stretches emptily. His daughter
phones a neighbour, Eddie, and asks him to check on the old
gentleman. Their conversation sparks memories in RIPPLES
Back in the 1940s, we feel the hunger gnawing through
Emily's stomach. She isn't proud of grabbing food from
another schoolgirl; she's just surviving. The well-off Mary
invites her to supper at her father's horse farm. Emily
doesn't belong, but she's one of five kids in a cramped
house, and the thought of supper is irresistible.
Horses feature largely in this story. The racetrack is a
source of employment and interest. Emily's father works as
a hand and Mary's father sends horses racing. When Calvin,
an assistant trainer, first meets Emily she lends him a
hand with a foaling mare. He can't stop thinking about the
girl, and shrewd young Mary makes sure they meet up again
at the racetrack. They're off!
Eddie takes the part of the reader, a foil for the stories,
a testing ground for Calvin's half-serious wish to kill
himself. Through him we learn of the sulky racing that
didn't work out, the hardship of raising a young family
with no job. As the years pass in these brief glimpses, we
see a family grow together and grow apart. The next
generation provides sibling tales to continue the threads.
I particularly enjoyed reading about the use of
Standardbred horses for trotting races held at the county
fairs. The breed is hardier than Thoroughbreds and bred
for endurance. This may be why I prefer the early part of
the book to the later, which gives a nod to the damage done
by drug addiction and the tensions of negotiating a student
course as well as a social life. But Calvin preferred his
earlier life too, and tells Eddie wistfully that he had to
give up his dreams to support his family. Are there any
dreams left for a widower? Will he be allowed to follow his
heart? The complexities of the tale are gently introduced
and wound around the characters. Eddie, too, is not as
simple as we first expect.
RIPPLES THROUGH TIME by Lincoln Cole, who is an IT designer
living in Columbus, Ohio, is a memorable and evocative
romance-tinged read for adults. This author also writes
paranormal stories so fans of the genre can look out for
Calvin is alone for the first time in over sixty years after his wife Emily died. He
isn't taking it well. A long time family friend, Edward White, comes to check
on him and talk him out of doing the unthinkable. He just hopes he isn't too
late to help.
Help, however, isn't always the easiest thing to give, and it can be even more
difficult to accept....
Love, loss, and forgiveness weave inextricably into this human tale of
friendship and hope.