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The Needle Shower


Loved it! 😍

A coming of age story, filled with tragedy and healing. Reads like a memoir of troubled friendships and small town life.

The Needle Shower reads like memoir, though it seems too laden with dangers to be real. Danny, Billy, Tommy and Jo are best buddies in high school, standing up for each other against bullies and parents. They explore the area around their small town, rambling about through abandoned mines and lakes, hills and backroads. Things seem to be going along swimmingly. But darkness looms. As the friends grow up, one of their gang falls to the wayside, then another.

As with most coming of age stories, the kids grow into adults with a history together, a history full of serious events and tragedies. Choices are made. The secret they hold pushes them apart, even as their ties pull them back together. Misunderstandings lead to more tragedy; it seems like all is lost, but the friendships that these four forged in their youth stay strong. Will they be alright, with the dangerous knowledge they share?

Along the way, each of the friends sacrifices something, makes decisions that dramatically change their path forwards. One cancels plans for college, another enlists in the military, and one vanishes. Will they find each other again, rebuild their friendships? Will Danny ever get out of town as he hopes?

This is a story with a creeping sense of evil. There is a pervasive sense of being trapped. A few chapters had me reading as fast as I could, just to see if the characters would make it through intact.

The pace is uneven, with much time spent in description, but the author places you right in the scenery, has you walk along with the friends, shows you the details of the town and the people who live there. I feel as if I spent time in the town, felt the oppressive air, saw the faces of the participants.

At other times, the story seems rushed, with a few bits and pieces being sketched more than drawn. That said, I couldn't put the book down. It's a good read, and a memory trip as the characters live through the 50s and 60s, Vietnam and Woodstock, childhood and growing up.

Worth a read.

Reviewed by

An avid reader of all genres except romance. Published writer of humour and short fiction/non-fiction. Currently working on a fiction trilogy: Recycled Virgin is out now on Amazon; Deceiving the Devil will be published in June 2020.

Retired nurse. Now artist and crafter plus writing, of course!

September, 1974, Dutchess County, New York

About the author

I grew up, and currently live, in the Hudson Valley of upstate New York. I use my varied work experiences-grave digger, mason, professional student (B.A./M.B.A. Syracuse), founder of manufacturing company, the list goes on and on-along with my love of nature to enrichen all of my narratives. view profile

Published on November 22, 2019

Published by Amazon Books

80000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Reviewed by