A wholesome, hopeful, and heartwarming journey through troubled adolescent life and the importance of hard work and resilience… A triumph.
Based on a true story, Veatch’s remarkable novel confronts head on the complicated realities of adolescent life. Fifteen-year-old Johnny Miller is finding it hard to deal with his father’s death: he is falling behind in his studies and his destructive behavior has wreaked havoc on his personal relationships. On his psychiatrist’s recommendation, Johnny is sent to Dyer Island’s summer camp community. But the teen has no desire to be part of any group activity. Dr.Wick summons Harry, one of the original Dyer Island boys, to help Johnny. The affecting narrative places readers alongside Harry, who, overwhelmed with the pain of losing his father to the war, is struggling to find his way. Veatch beautifully depicts the teen’s inner turmoil, delving into his self-doubts, insecurities, fears, dreams, and hopes. Told in third-person omniscient narrative, the chapters alternate between the past and the present, with snippets of the camp’s formation and Harry’s story sprinkled throughout. Veatch’s writing is assured as the island, once an isolated, abandoned place, becomes a source of comfort for many troubled adolescents. He develops multilayered conflicts on multiple fronts, including a poignant romance between Wick and Anne and Johnny’s struggle as he tries to deal with his father’s untimely death. Throughout, the novel examines adolescent angst, friendship, and human connection along with questions of integrity, ethics, trust, duty, responsibility, and the power of hard work and perseverance. Veatch brilliantly shows how external influences can change a person for better or worse. A deeply moving, uplifting story that takes readers on an unforgettable emotional journey.
The Dyer Island Boys
Pub date November 28, 2022
Price $21.98 (USD) Paperback, $8.49 Kindle