A Small Town Story with a Big Heart — Bell Hammers by Lancelot Schaubert

What I Liked

The writing. From the very first sentence, I knew I was going to love this book. And I was right! It begins with the scene where the protagonist rushes off to school buck naked. It is either that or miss the last ride. And being a kid and a prankster at heart, they do the only thing true to their nature! The author continues to win your heart with their words right to the end.

The research. You walk in Little Egypt, Illinois, with the characters. A few footnotes show that the author filled in the blanks with other reference material.

The truth. Even though, the protagonist or their family don’t come off smelling like roses after several incidents, the author chose to tell the story as it was. I liked the honesty because it made the character more interesting to read about.

The humor. And the quirkiness of the characters. Whether it is the protag or his wife, his grandpa, or their collective friends. They saw the worst of times and tried to make life easier to live by being ready to laugh at themselves and prank others.

What I Didn’t Like

The preaching. At the very end, when the protagonist dies and goes to heaven, they have a conversation with God. It’s on how some pranks start off well but can have unintended but disastrous consequences. I get the lesson that comes with it; I just don’t feel like it was needed.

What Made Me Pause

The rape. For all I know, it happened just as described in the book. And it didn’t even drag on for pages and pages. Nonetheless, it hurt.

To summarize, read this book if you like small town stories, those based on family life, and love to laugh.

I requested this book on Netgalley and I’m glad I did! You can find reviews of the other books requested via Netgalley here.

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