Rodney Francis Foster
The memories of youth can be both sweet and sour. In “Skeletons from a Teenager’s Closet,” Rodney Francis Foster offers a glimpse into his own formative years in California and navigating them through some big changes. Beginning with life living in the city limits and growing up in the age of the Great Depression, readers are taken on a journey of adventure tales with family and friends across the cities, waters, and plains. Some tales may resonate with others, and some may seem wholly foreign, yet the vitality and excitement of a young boy come across with each one.
Reflecting on family can often be bittersweet. Memories of joy and loss seem to go hand in hand quite often and rarely seem mutually exclusive. Some of those youthful escapades ended on a sorrowful note and gave a definite pull to the heartstrings. Losing family is difficult, but losing people at younger ages can seem particularly heinous. Mr. Foster’s stories offer a brief glimpse into that pain, and readers cannot help but feel that emotion through the pages. Other struggles of youth are told within; dealing with stern parenting and other family dynamics, acclimating to change, and even some chaotic misadventures of young boys that could have taken a much dastardly turn. The resiliency of youth, however, is the overall impression to be left with.
That particular resilience is a notion that spans across every generation. The ability of the young to adapt, acclimate, and even excel is well-known by us all, and with good reason. Mr. Foster’s semi-autobiographical exploits of a young man plucked from his life in the city and relegated to living and thriving in a much different country life offer an engaging look at how well that trope is put to the test. Set in the early to mid-20th century California, you’ll find inside several intriguing antics and poetry that offer a glimpse of life in the city, and life on the farm.
– The Moving Words Review
Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 3, 2024