Thursday, September 15, 2016
"The Fly Strip" A Novel by Gwen Banta - Weed Clapper Is A Countrified Holden Caulfield
Author Gwen Banta in her novel, "The Fly Strip," manages to speak with the authentic sounding voice of a teenager coming of age in the 1960s in rural Indiana. Her Weed Clapper is a countrified Holden Caulfield, and Banta is as poetic in her writing as was J.D. Salinger. Weed has lost his family in an automobile accident and is taken in by a grandmother he hardly knew. He learns that grandmother has a colorful past, and is shunned by much of the community. He develops an affinity for Andy, a war veteran who lost half of his face in combat.. As life in Indiana spins out of control for Weed, he develops a close relationship with his teacher, Laura. They tiptoe around the fringes of forbidden love as they help one another deal with secrets from their past.
The writing is touching and draws us into the heart of Weed and his complex and changing views of himself and of the world he inhabits. Issues of racism, anti-semitism, hypocrisy, and bullying are all explored during Weed's journey.