Thrilling… a candid, poignant coming-of-age tale.
A beautiful, gentle coming-of-age tale set in a small Canadian prairie town, 1967 chronicles the emotional journey of a young boy. Raised in Winnipeg, young Doornink is forced to leave behind his friends and extended family after his father accepts a job offer as a traveling salesman at Rexall Drug Company and moves his family to the small town of Yorkton in Saskatchewan. Told in young Doornink’s voice, the book covers a period of one year from September 1966 to August 1967 and captures Doornink’s transition from a young child to a wiser boy entering his teenage years as he forms close friendships, gets in all sort of messy jams while recollecting a long-forgotten memory of his childhood. As told from Doornink’s perspective as a young boy, it concentrates on his recollection of a long-buried childhood memory and his coming to terms with the truth after he becomes aware of it. The narrative revolves around Doornink and his sister Red’s relationship with their father, whose fearsome demeanor, callous disregard for their feelings, and disciplinary nature make them both fearful and wary of him while secretly longing for his affection. For young Doornink, the growing up happens as he faces up to the unnerving truth about his parentage. Father-son duo’s relationship takes a sudden turn toward the end and that’s what gives the story its winning edge; Doornink’s relationship with his father which is mostly marred by underlying resentment and bitterness and his father’s inability to express himself changes after a traumatic incident and the pair comes to a better understanding. Doornink’s matter-of-fact, unreflective prose does justice to his young age in the story, triggering warm emotions in the reader’s heart. There is a sense of luminous innocence about the young boy, despite his knack for getting caught in all sorts of troubles, and the reader will root for him throughout the book. Doornink’s journey is exhilarating, especially toward the end when the truth as he knew turns out to be a lie. The book’s pace is even-paced and the prose top-notch as it captures timeless rhythms of Doornink and his friends’ adventurous year in the small prairie town in Canada, brilliantly bringing out the forgotten era of 1960s. Doornink’s tale is heartening and engaging, and at times quite funny. Told with sincere honesty, this detailed, tender coming-of-age story is sure to touch readers’ hearts.
1967 – a coming of age story
by Richard Doornink
PUB DATE April 3, 2019
PRICE $19.95 (USD)