Of Foster Homes and Flies - by Chad Lutzke
Of Foster Homes and Flies grabs the heartstrings of its readers. It’s impossible not to feel for the MC in this book, you can’t help but love the misguided passion of Denny, a boy that has to hide the fact of his mother's death (due to alcoholism) in order to be able to compete in a spelling competition (that’s a “spelling bee” - an Americanism – where that name comes from would be fascinating to know).
The logic and desperation he applies to the situation are heartbreaking and riveting – you can’t help but hope alongside the main character that his dreams can be realized. Denny’s situation is unique, in that his mother destroyed herself after the death of her husband. Her refusal to live and move on creates a poverty line existence for Denny – he has to feed both himself and his mother, who remains ungrateful and bitter. Physical abuse and the constant mental abuse he suffers, make the discovery of her death in her own armchair a moment of release for Denny, finally free of the weight around his neck. However, a spelling bee is 5 days away, an event he has dreamt about for a year after failing to have the courage to enter the previous year, a mistake he cannot repeat. If he reports her death, social services will come and take him away, and any chance of competing will be gone. And thus begins our story of guilt, regret, subterfuge, and first love.
This book is just wonderful. It absolutely had me from the first paragraph, and I was enthralled from then on. Lutzke was firing on all cylinders when he wrote this genius novella. It was a delight to read, I lived every moment of the five days, alone the descriptions of his mother's rapidly decaying body would have earned five stars, but then add in the first love story, the buddy story, the descriptions of his life with his mother – just everything about this book begs to be devoured in one sitting.
It’s a book I will definitely be revisiting later this year. One time around wasn’t enough.
Excellent, Chad. Just magnificent.
I can’t give this book enough stars, and I’ve got skull-faced boy lined up waiting for me in three weeks.
5 out of 5 ⭐‘s, and it’s woefully inadequate to describe my love for this book. Likewise, my love for Chad's ferrets also knows no bounds.
You can Of Foster Homes and Flies by clicking on the Amazon store appropriate to you.
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