Searles has created a second successful novel. STRANGE BUT TRUE is
anything but 'strange', it is mesmerizing! It is a story of lives
affected by events at and following a high school graduation Prom.
Ronnie Chase, girlfriend Melissa, her twin sister Tracy, and date
Chaz hire a limousine to deliver them to and from the Inn where the
celebration is held.
Philip Chase is living with his mother
Charlene in the Pennsylvania suburbs, while recuperating from a fall
off a balcony of his New York City apartment. Melissa phones Philip
and Charlene then pays them a visit, first since five years past.
The news she has to deliver stuns Philip and receives a venomous
reaction from Charlene.
Melissa is nine months pregnant.
Through visitations to a psychic and in answer to her prayers,
Melissa believes the conception is Ronnie's baby. She has only had
sexual intercourse one time with one person and that is Ronnie Chase
on the night of the Prom. However, Ronnie died almost five years
ago. He was killed in a tragic accident when the limousine crashed
into a thick oak tree on the return trip taking the foursome home.
The limo driver had a high level of alcohol in his system. Full of
loneliness and sadness, Melissa is estranged from her parents,
living in a cottage, and has received a notice to vacate because of
unpaid rent. Landlords Gail and Bill Erwin appear to be happily
married, even though Gail has been disappointed in a few previous
marriages and Bill is an ex-policeman who was asked to leave his
Richard Chase, Ronnie's father, and second wife Holly
live in Florida. Richard harbors a secret from the past. Charlene is
an embittered ex-wife and mother grieving for her dead son. Along
with Ronnie's 1979 Mercedes in the garage, Charlene keeps Ronnie's
bedroom locked enshrined like a museum. Formerly a librarian,
Charlene visits the town library. As she steps into the lobby, "she
is overcome by one simple thing: the smell of books." Philip loves
reading and writing poetry. He has always known that his brother was
the favored son. He overheard a conversation in which Charlene said
"... the wrong son died".
Searles delivers poetic essence in
STRANGE BUT TRUE. In one instance he writes, "The wind. has died
off, leaving the woods around the three small houses in a perfect
hush." With intended humor, the author also writes of Charlene
speaking to Philip, "...watching too much TV will make your brain
rot". Searles's style of storytelling encourages readers to linger
from beginning to end uniquely blending chapters with the past and
the present . The author gives credence to main and sideline
characters assigning each a burden of trials, tribulations, and
STRANGE BUT TRUE is an avid reader's
treasure full of astounding surprises. Personification of the cast
members is uniquely filled with happiness and sadness, anger and
forgiveness, loss and gain, hatred and love, good and evil, but most
of all - survival.
A story that poetically embraces the
emotions - puts a lump in the throat, a tug to the heart, and gives
hope for the soul. Every book has a message -- STRANGE BUT TRUE
REVIEWED BY JOSEPHINE ANNA KASZUBA
DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER,
ANNA KASZUBA LOCKE