Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The Right Kind Of Fool By Sarah Loudin Thomas

The Right Kind of Fool
by Sarah Loudin Thomas
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764234019

Having only read one other Sarah Loudin Thomas novel, I really wanted to give another one a try. I enjoyed the first book I read (out of order from a series no less) so I thought I'd try something a bit different of hers this time. Oh my word am I glad I did! Thanks to Bethany House for sending this book for review.


Thirteen-year-old Loyal Raines is supposed to stay close to home on a hot summer day in 1934. When he slips away for a quick swim in the river and finds a dead body, he wishes he'd obeyed his mother. Desperate for help, he runs to the mountain cabin of his mostly absentee father, frantically trying to communicate the news with his hands.

Driven away by fear and guilt over his son's deafness, Creed has played a distant part in Loyal's life and language. But when he's pulled into the murder investigation, he discovers that what sets his son apart isn't his inability to hear but rather his courage. As the impact of the murder ripples through their West Virginia town, both will learn what it took to kill a man and what it takes to become one.

My Review:

When I was in my 20s I decided to take some sign language classes to see if I even liked them. Oh my word, I LOVED them. Honestly, I had wanted to become an interpreter, but life got in the way. Anyhow, that is really what piqued my interest with The Right Kind of Fool. How does an author pull off a deaf character?

Oh my goodness, Sarah Loudin Thomas pulled it off beautifully! I was incredibly impressed by how she incorporated explanations of the signs (yes, I caught myself doing them as I read). I must overthink things because I thought that to explain the signs it would be too in-depth and clunky. Nope, the author made the signs simple and they fit smoothly into the story.

This was quite a unique story. With Loyal finding a dead body everything changes for him and those he knows. It was incredibly easy to be pulled into the little West Virginia town of Beverly. The way the author wrote the story, you feel as though you've already been part of the town because of how well she writes the relationship of the characters.

There are a lot of facets to the story and so many layers to peel back. With the murder, we follow along as the Sheriff, and what seems like his merry band of misfits, tries to unravel the mystery without all of the pieces. As the reader, we see pieces, but do they lead us to the murderer or away? Not only that, the relationship between Loyal and his father is a fascinating one to watch unfold. Creed has been so hands-off that when he's forced to spend time with Loyal it's interesting to see how he goes about it. And then there's Loyal and, well, everyone else. It seems as though Loyal has been, for the most part, sheltered from the townsfolk. They know him. Know of him. They don't KNOW him though.

When you live in a town as small as Beverly, you know that people have history. Most people know what people are up to and what their past relatives have been up to. There are reputations that come into play and certainly muddy the water on who might be the guilty party.

I also had a huge appreciation for Delphy, Loyal's mom. She learned sign language so they could communicate, sent him to a deaf school, and was for all intents and purposes a single mom. They had an incredibly tight bond so when Creed starts doing fatherly duties after being so distant for many years, I could understand how difficult it was for her. Her desire to keep Loyal safe.

This is going to be one of my favorite books of the year and I'll definitely be suggesting it to my book club for next year since we're taking a break for the next 2 months. I really can't recommend this book enough!

About the Author:

Sarah Loudin Thomas (www.sarahloudinthomas.com) is a fund-raiser for a children's ministry and the author of the acclaimed novels The Sound of Rain and Miracle in a Dry Season--winner of the 2015 INSPY Award. Sarah has also been a finalist for the Christy Award, the ACFW Carol Award, and the Christian Book of the Year Award. She and her husband live near Asheville, North Carolina.


Ann @ Classic Country Blog said...

The deaf character has my attention. I need to read this one. I enjoyed the review.

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