DiscoverLiterary Fiction

Child of Gilead

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Loved it! 😍

Star bright, star light, what a wonderful read "Child of Gilead' is with its dramatic, passionate flair of being bold!

Synopsis

“Take the road less traveled, my son. Always. No exceptions.”

These are Hannah’s words to her child, spoken to reveal a higher truth of what it takes to live a life of meaning. Most importantly, they are words meant to keep a child away from harm and danger. But one day, mother and son are visited by an old family friend whose arrival brings with it the potential to uncover dark family secrets always intended to stay hidden.

Sparse and simply told, Child of Gilead, is author Douglas S. Reed's long-awaited second novel and is a modern-day parable that seeks to answer the seemingly unanswerable truth, "Do you know me?"

Oh, Douglas Reed, author of ‘Child of Gilead,’ this 60,000 word song – and yes, it should be classified as a song for it played a dramatic, sensual tune – is one that any reader, no matter what they say or believe, would enjoy.


Hannah is an exceptional character, who loves her child, and wants nothing but the best in whatever pursuits her child undertakes. “Take the road less traveled, my son. Always. No exceptions.” That very piece of advice becomes a mantra of vital importance for Hannah, and her child, and well, it is essential to the story. For Hannah, the road less traveled involves an urgent method of protection and safety, while at the same time, those words unveil a method of living a purposeful life. But Hannah just wants to live life, and make sure the most precious gift, her child, has that as well.


Now, there is explicit content, and for someone who has chosen the genres of African-American fiction, Christian fiction, Southern fiction and biographies, this was a little different read for me. But I found Douglas Reed’s writing to be nothing harmfully ‘dirty,’ rather realistic and interesting. I would recommend this for those over the age of 21, and perhaps, as a rainy day, or Friday night when you are by yourself kind of read. Maybe a very adult book club would enjoy it. Who knows? Either way, I will say there are some parts that might make you blush.


Each page reveals a layer of the most beautiful gift wrap that Douglas Reed designed and created with his ink and his paper. And talk about passion, talk about mystery, talk about drama and just talk about the book all you want. Blush, fan yourself, and wonder why in the world this book scorched my creative sense.


After you take time to read it fully, you will see it is a worthy read for sure.

Reviewed by

Becky has had a 'serious love affair' with books since she was old enough to know what the word 'love' meant.

A former award-winning newspaper editor with a bachelor's degree in English/journalism and a master's in psychology, her goal is to help you get your book out there.

Synopsis

“Take the road less traveled, my son. Always. No exceptions.”

These are Hannah’s words to her child, spoken to reveal a higher truth of what it takes to live a life of meaning. Most importantly, they are words meant to keep a child away from harm and danger. But one day, mother and son are visited by an old family friend whose arrival brings with it the potential to uncover dark family secrets always intended to stay hidden.

Sparse and simply told, Child of Gilead, is author Douglas S. Reed's long-awaited second novel and is a modern-day parable that seeks to answer the seemingly unanswerable truth, "Do you know me?"

Chapter One

“Take the road less traveled, my son. Always. No exceptions.”

Sounds like the start of a fairy tale, or some sort of fable. Kind of like the ones they read to us in school. But it’s really Mama’s playful way of talking fancy. It’s just her way of reminding me about her golden rule. Her law. And though they’re words that Mama can’t claim as her own, “They do,” as she always tells me, “reveal a higher truth about what it takes to live a more meaningful and transcendent life.”

“Most importantly,” Mama is quick to add, “the Road Less Traveled is the true way, and will best keep a child away from harm and danger.”

All this elegant talk beats Mama just saying, “Boy, just do as I say. Take the long way home. Never take the shortcut.”

But taking the Road Less Traveled makes life a little more difficult. It means getting off the bus a stop early or riding in the last car of the train and walking out the station’s back exit. Both put me about four long blocks further from my home. A real pain. Mama doesn’t care.

Perhaps that’s because the path she prefers I take seems almost too good to be true. There are nice brownstone homes set along quiet, tree-lined streets. You pass my school and its peaceful playground. You never see any children playing there. Nor do you ever see a Mr. Lonely—that’s a man with no family, no friends, no home—sleeping on one of the park’s benches. There are a lot of churches along this path, too. Some are small storefront churches. Some are big and look like cathedrals, like the one Mama and I go to. Mama says, “Walk this way home and you’ll know that God is in this place. You’ll see all that you need to feel good about life—a nice home, a school nearby to enrich your mind, and an altar to worship at.” Most importantly, Mama says, “There’s peace and there’s quiet along this path, so you can listen to God talk to you.”

But The City is a kind of funny place. You can walk a few blocks and feel like you found a little piece of heaven. Yet, turn a corner and watch out! You’re surrounded by…madness! That’s what Mama calls the world outside the peace and quiet of the Road Less Traveled. She calls it… The Madness.

It’s kind of hard to tell where the Road Less Traveled ends and The Madness begins, and vice-versa. The circular path of the Road Less Traveled flows into The Madness at opposite ends of a simple two-block cluster of small storefront businesses. Businesses like Chef and his Golden Sun take-out spot, and Injun Rah’s pizza joint. The Madness is where you’ll find brothers and sisters from the Dark Continent selling traditional garb at their fashion boutique. And not long ago, The Madness was where you’d find my grandpa’s old candy shop. A sort of general store. I can’t tell you much more, because I’m not allowed to go there. It’s an old, battered corner store. It sits across the street from what had been, at one time, an old gangsta social club called Illusions. Illusions’ window used to be black with its name written in script and in dripping blood red paint. But now it’s a nail salon with a windowpane that is large and clear, so that when you look inside, you see a group of lady manicurists from the Far East at work. The Madness is the world. It’s a place where you can find anything and everything you want. I think that is good.

But Mama says, “No, no, not so fast. Don’t be fooled by those profiting amid The Madness.” According to her, there’s no nobility in always giving people what they want. “Drug dealers give people what they want. Does that make them noble?” That’s Mama talking. I’m just a kid.

“Stay away from The Madness. Take the Road Less Traveled, my son. Always. No exceptions.” Mine is the story of a little boy who doesn’t always listen to his mama.

About the author

Douglas S. Reed is an educator and author. He holds a B.S. in Communications Management from Syracuse University and a M.S. in Primary Education from Lehman College. The author lives quietly and peacefully on the beautiful island of Bermuda with his wife Lisa and stepchildren Mia & Jalen. view profile

Published on July 28, 2020

60000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Literary Fiction

Reviewed by

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