Author: Larry Peterson
Publisher: Tribute Books
Release Date: December 2011
This book was: Review request and tour stop for the publishers.
This is the summary off the back of the book.
Take a seven day journey with the five, newly orphaned Peach kids, as they begin their struggle to remain a family while planning their dad's funeral.
They find an ally in the local parish priest, Father Tim Sullivan, who tries his best to guide them through the strange, unchartered and turbulent waters of "grown-up world." A story that is sad, funny, and inspiring as it shows how the power of family love and faith can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles
This is what I think of the book.
I liked this more then I thought I would. I found I loved the kids and their struggle to stay together after their fathers death tugged at my heart.
I was drawn into the story and really liked the interplay between the the siblings. This is defiantly and author to look out for!! I have kept this review short as I have a guest post and excerpt form the book you so you can see for yourself how good this book is.
My Rating: I liked this.
Larry Peterson Kindly agreed to do a guest post about his inspiration.
The way I see it, inspiration is triggered by the people, places and things that we encounter and experience. A friend of mine might introduce me to a friend of theirs and my mind will begin a journey, intrigued by the way that person said, "Hello", or by the manner in which they looked at me or the clothes they were wearing or whether or not their shoulders were slouched or not. They will be unconsciously placed in my mental Rolodex for future reference as a possible character and I do not even know it at that moment in time. Some one else would never give that person a second thought.
In the final analysis we are all different, all unique and I guess we all have inspiration that fits who we are. Some of us join forces with our inspiration (some call it Muse), others may talk about it for awhile and others ignore it completely. We certainly are interesting creatures.
Lastly, you asked me to give you an idea about books I read to relax. What I do is, I go to my library and they have a rack of used books in the children's section. Many of them are YA novels. They are older books and are all for sale. They charge about 25 to 30 cents per book. I picked up four yesterday afternoon. Total cost, including tax, $1.29. That will be my reading for the next week or two. It's great.
I hope you enjoy this excerpt.
“If only I had…”
“Yes, doctor. All right.”
Joanie hung up the phone. Bronx Hospital? How am I supposed to…I mean…who?
Thoughts were smashing around inside her head. Pops was curled up on the living room floor. He had gone from screaming in pain to sobbing, “Please help me. Please do something.”
Dancer was kneeling next to Pops, rubbing his father's back. Beeker and Joey were sitting on the sofa absolutely terrified. This was their father and he was crying and begging for help. The situation was backwards. The kids were supposed to be the ones who got scared and cried, not the parent. Joanie, experienced in dealing with family crises, dashed to the front window and looked down at the street. Dave Roth's car was parked in front of the building. “Thank God,” she yelled. “Dave is still home. Dancer! Dancer!”
Her brother did not answer. He was too busy rubbing Pops' back. She hurried back to him and grabbed his arm. “Listen to me. Dave is still home. Go downstairs and get him before he leaves for work.”
“We gotta help him, Joanie. We gotta do something.”
“Didn't you hear me? We are doing something. Now get down to Dave's before he leaves. Hurry up!”
Dancer snapped to it and was down the stairs as quick as a cat. Dave was just locking his apartment door. The timing could not have been better. A half-hour later, Pops was in the emergency room at Bronx Hospital. Initial diagnosis? He was having an acute attack of pancreatitis brought on by too much alcohol consumption. The pain was so intense that Pops was on the verge of going into shock. He had a fever of 103 degrees caused by an infection and his abdomen was swollen from fluid build-up.Initial treatment? Administer antibiotics, IV fluids and pain medication, then nothing to eat or drink. He would have to stay in the hospital for a few days until the pancreas calmed down. It was too soon to predict anything.
Pops, making a valiant attempt to appear okay, looked at his daughter and said, “Joanie, the boys need you at home. Don't worry. I'll be fine. So let Dave bring you back. He has to get to work anyway. I'll talk to you later. Now, give me a hug and kiss and get outta here.”
Joanie hugged her dad and kissed his cheek. Pops smiled and said, “Hey Dave, thanks for everything. L-Y-N.”
“Yeah, Yimey, L-Y-N to you too. Take care of yourself.”
Teddy, who had arrived at the legal drinking age of 18 a few months earlier, stopped at Corcoran's for a beer on the way home from work. After a few, he headed home to discover that Pops was in the hospital.
“I know he was kinda moaning last night. I asked him before I left this morning if he would be okay. He said he was all right so I left for work. Never thought he'd wind up in the hospital.”
Joanie, crying, said to him, “Well by seven thirty, he was curled up on the floor screaming in pain. I was so scared. I swear Teddy, I thought he was going to die right there.”
He put his arm around his sister's shoulder. “That bad, huh? And all this is from food poisoning?”
“No, no. Dr. Schwartz said he wasn't sure anymore. He said it might be a case of—oh nuts, I can't remember. Something like pancree…peree…something. Oh, I don't remember. All I know is it was caused by his stupid drinking. It’s not food poisoning, that's for sure.”
“Drinking—oh man. Dang, I knew he was drinking too much. Hey, Scratch isn't working late again, is he? He could come with me to the hospital.”
“Yes, he’s working a double shift. Won't be home ‘til after midnight. And stop calling him Scratch. His name is Denis, not Scratch—it's so dumb. It sounds like he's a big itch. I hate it.”
“Oh c'mon, Joanie. Not that again, especially now. We have more important stuff to worry about. You oughta just get used to it.”
“Whatever. I don't care. I'll never get used to it. It's dumb. What's with all these crazy names anyway? Beeker? His name is Robert, and Pops started calling him Beeker and no one knows why and now he’s Beeker. And Dancer's name is James and Pops calls him Dancer and even my boyfriend, Denis, he calls Scratch. It's like they’re all cartoon characters. I swear—oh, who cares anyway? I have to go to the bathroom. ”
Teddy turned and saw his three brothers quietly sitting side by side on the sofa. They were frightened. He went over to them and said, “Look guys, everything will be okay. I'm going to go see Pops and give him a big hug from all of you. Don't worry. Everything will be fine.”
Dancer said, “I want to go with you. I'm 14 and I'm not a baby. He's my father too.”
“C'mon, Dancer. I know you're not a baby. No one thinks you're a baby. But I need you to hang out here with Beeker and Joey. Just do me a favor and do that, okay?”
Dancer said nothing and shrugged. They were all looking at Teddy and none of them believed for a second that everything was going to be fine. They had seen their father doubled over howling and crying in pain. Beeker and Joey had quiet tears in their eyes. They knew this was a very bad thing. Dancer went out into the hallway, reached into his pocket and pulled out a cigarette he had swiped from Teddy. Striking a match he mumbled, “I'm not a little kid.”
Teddy cleaned up, wolfed down a bologna sandwich and left to see his father. But first, he made a quick stop at the Celtic Tavern, over on Teller Avenue. Though not on the curriculum, part of his apprenticeship also included the fine art of beer drinking. Knowing he was going to stop for a quick one before going to the hospital was the real reason he did not want Dancer to come with him. Teddy was learning the ways of manhood well.
He had walked away from his high school graduation with a State Regents Scholarship in his pocket. It might just as well have been an old newspaper. He knew he would never use it. Uncle Billy and Pops had convinced him that, for the time being, getting into the Carpenters Union was the smarter way to go. He could always do college later. Plus, Pops was on the ropes and the family needed the money. Even Father Sullivan had told Teddy that considering the family circumstances, it was probably the right thing to do. Father's opinion was the final catalyst needed to erase any doubts in Teddy's mind about his immediate future.
Teddy made it to the hospital around eight thirty, half-schnockered. Arriving at Pops' room, he looked in and saw a doctor examining his father. He stood by the door watching, as the doctor moved the stethoscope around Pop's chest. An IV tree, with several bottles of hanging liquid, had thin tubes extending down connecting to a needle in Pops' hand. Then Teddy noticed a huge bottle sitting on the floor next to the bed. A thin hose snaked from inside Pops' nose down into the bottle. Dripping from the hose into the bottle was brown, green and black gunk. It was disgusting. Teddy's gag reflex kicked in. Immediately, the after taste of bologna and beer was in his throat. His cheeks puffed up and he put his hand over his mouth. He had to look away. He was sure he was going to puke. Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath. Slowly the feeling passed.
He watched as the doctor touched Pops reassuringly on his shoulder. Then the doctor turned and headed to the door. He was a big man, at least 6' 4” and must have weighed close to 275 pounds. He had a round face crowned by a balding head, thin wire rimmed glasses supported by a long nose and a somewhat grungy appearance overall. He instantly intimidated Teddy as he stopped and looked at him. “Hello, I'm Dr. Rothstein. I'm the chief resident. Are you here to see Mr. Peach?”
“Uh, yeah. I'm his son, Ted. How is he? Is he gonna be okay?”
“C'mon, Ted, let's step outside for a minute.”
Outside the big doctor looked hard at this nervous young man wondering why he was alone and a bit miffed at the smell of beer coming from him. “So, Ted, I was not here when your father was brought in this morning. Did your mom bring him in?”
“Uh, no. She died a few years ago. My sister brought him in.”
Dr. Rothstein was a little taken aback. Damn, that stinks. This guy is just a kid. Recovering he said, “Oh, I'm sorry. So, it's just you and your sister?”
“We have three younger brothers too. Hey doc, what does it matter?”
“I'm sorry, it doesn’t. I was just curious. I expected someone, well…no matter.”
Teddy did not respond and they both sort of looked at each other feeling awkward. Then Dr. Rothstein gave Teddy a quick overview of pancreatitis. He explained that excessive drinking had caused serious damage to Pops' pancreas. This caused the pancreas to overproduce digestive enzymes. These enzymes had attacked Pops' organs causing incredible pain and infection. Immediate treatment was to administer antibiotics, IV fluids and pain medication.
There would be no food or drink whatsoever. The pancreas needed to calm down. That was all that could be done. The big bottle with the gunk was fluid being pumped out of Pops' stomach to help with the calming process. Teddy thought, Just like siphoning raw sewage—GROSS.
Dr. Rothstein told Teddy that it would take Pops a few days to recover. “I think he'll be okay. His blood pressure and heart rate have lowered. That’s a good sign. If his pressure drops suddenly, it could mean he’s going into shock from the pain. But we’re watching him very closely. The bottom line is this—if he keeps on drinking, it will kill him.”
Teddy, quite inexperienced at this type of thing, shook Dr. Rothstein's hand and simply said, “Thank you, doctor.” He did not really know what to think, never mind what to ask.
He went back to Pops' room and stood just inside the doorway. He did not go in. The bottle of gunk was too much for him to deal with and he did not want to make a fool of himself. He was an 18-year-old kid oozing a know-it-all attitude reinforced by a couple of beers and his talk with the doctor.
Remembering Dr. Rothstein's shaky optimism, he said, “Hey Pops, this is pretty serious. The doctor said you gotta stop the drinking, or it could kill you.”
Pops said nothing. Besides pain and fear, there was a resolute sadness etched into his face. It frightened Teddy, although he did not understand it. Their eyes locked, blue on blue, father and son, sharing what would turn out to be their final moment together. Teddy thought he noticed a solitary tear drip from Pops' eye and slowly roll down onto the pillow. Still, he remained by the door.
He broke the silence saying, “Okay Pops, I gotta get home. See you tomorrow.” As he turned and headed to the elevator, Pops raised his hand and held up his thumb and pinky finger, but Teddy did not notice.
Walking away from the hospital, Teddy briefly stopped, turned and looked up at the third floor. He located the window of Pops' room and stared at it. Whispering, “I love you, Pops,” he began to cry. He knew he should go back but he didn't. That decision would transpose into a lifelong, heartbreaking memory transfixed around the words—if only I had… Sometimes, you just don't get a second chance.
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