Where's My Wand
"In 1971, it was still somewhat common for neighbors to actually
speak to one another and occasionally even socialize. As our tenure
in St. Louis wore on, Val and I realized that making excuses for
Mother was becoming increasingly difficult, so we came up with what we
was a sexy but viable explanation. When neighbors politely inquired
as to her studied avoidance of them, Val simply explained, in hushed
tones, that as a CIA operative, Mother couldn't risk getting too close
to anyone. 'She knows things,' Val would intone mysteriously. 'Things
she can't tell a soul. If she got to know you, and let something
slip, she'd have to kill you.'"
Eric, narrator of Where's My Wand?, does indeed have a strange
mother. Mom would probably earn an obsessive compulsive diagnosis
today. Only total perfection in house cleaning will be tolerated.
Even shag carpeting must have no indentations. Of course her husband
and children never live up to her standards, the cause of frequent
bitter spousal arguments. Needless to say, not having outsiders bear
witness to this familial insanity precludes her kids from having
Of course ongoing family drama is not all the childhood hardship
Eric has to deal with. Deaf in one ear and quite weak in athletic
ability and looks, he's picked on quite a bit by bullies and looked
down upon by classmates, especially after he's appointed crossing
guard. Then there's his family's fundamentalist church, heavy on the
fire and brimstone.
Eric operates in crisis mode, trying to exert control over
outside forces, many of which are the beyond the scope of his
influence. At first he uses a cape to channel magic. Eventually he
transitions to prayer. But what to do when the Almighty seems to give
up on him?
Read the book and see.
I think this book will have special appeal to all who have grown
beyond their own childhoods enough to view them with a sense of humor.
On a personal note, recently I got to the library only to realize I'd
lost the book I was reading. It was not in the post office. I knew
then and there it was on the bus. My first thought was, OMG I'll have
to go to Bangor to the lost and found place. Bangor scares me. I'd
seriously jump on a plane to Ethiopia with less trepidation.
Fortunately I realized if I caught the bus on the way back I could get
the book. This was exactly what happened.
A great big shout out goes out to the friendly bus driver who reunited
the book and me.
Sent from my iPod