Thursday, March 29, 2012

23. The Year the Lights Came On by Terry Kay

This is my second book by Terry Kay and I love the way he writes.  You are present as he tells about a rural Georgia town in 1947 and the life of the young boys living there.  There is a definite division between the people on each side of Highway 17; and it creates great tension at the school between Colin's group, Our Side, and the Highway 17 gang led by Dupree Hixon.  Eleven-year-old Colin has a great bunch of friends including his older brother, Wesley, who is a natural leader, and Freeman Boyd, a wild child who knows the swamp better than any one else around.  Wesley figures out the main difference between the two groups is that they have electricity.  The knowledge that soon the Rural Electrification Administration would be running lines to the rest of the county leaves Our Side feeling a bit smug about their secret.  Kay creates a great story about an era when things were simpler but harder, more innocent and also about how progress in the shape of electricity changed the culture and lives of the people involved.  I find that I really enjoy coming-of-age stories of young teenage boys set in bygone times.  I can't remember reading similar stories involving girls.  Why is that?  If you want to read a well-written book with a great story, pick this one or even another Kay book, The Valley of Lights (not a series).  Rating:  4.75

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