81 Following

Housewife Blues and Chihuahua Stories

Lifelong Texan, love reading from many genres thanks to early childhood readalongs with my Dad, love cooking for my family, working in my yard, playing with my cats and since being diagnosed in late 2012 with RRMS finding ways to keep body and mind active is even more important.
The Car Thief - Theodore Weesner BOOK SYNOPSISIt’s 1959. Sixteen year-old Alex Housman has just stolen his fourteenth car and frankly doesn’t know why. His divorced, working class father grinds out the night shift at the local Chevy Plant in Detroit, kept afloat by the flask in his glove compartment and the open bottles in his Flint, Michigan home.Abandoned and alone, father and son struggle to express a deep love for each other, even as Alex fills his day juggling cheap thrills and a crushing depression. He cruises and steals, running from, and to, the police, compelled by reasons he frustratingly can’t put into words. And then there’s Irene Shaeffer, the pretty girl in school whose admiration Alex needs like a drug in order to get by. Broke and fighting to survive, Alex and his father face the realities of estrangement, incarceration, and even violence as their lives hurtle toward the climactic episode that a New York Times reviewer called “one of the most profoundly powerful in American fiction.”In this rich, beautifully crafted story, Weesner accomplishes a rare feat: He’s written a transcendent piece of literature in deceptively plain language, painting a gripping portrait of a father and a son, otherwise invisible among the mundane, everyday details of life in blue collar America. A true and enduring American classic.MY THOUGHTSI am going to start out by saying that this is not a story for those of us who prefer our reading material to be fantasy rather than reality based. It was hard for me to relate to the character of Alex, having myself grown up in a loving household with caring parents, the plight of this young man was one I just had no personal reference for.Alex Houseman is not a young man who is endearing, he is not a young man who you want your daughter to date or even know for that matter but Alex is a young man representative of his circumstances. A Mother who abandoned her family when her sons Alex and Howard were very young, later on the same woman takes Howard with her but leaves Alex behind. A Father who is so caught up in his problems that he does not begin to acknowledge or address the problems his son is facing instead he drinks and basically leaves Alex on his own to fend for himself most of the time. It is no wonder that Alex gets into joyriding in stolen cars as a way to escape his stifling existence. Alex Houseman's character is not unique, there are many children who have come from broken homes who turn to a lifetime of crime as the easiest way to get by. However his character is unique in the fact that Alex breaks the cycle, he finally finds the inner courage to stand by what he knows is right for him and in doing so also finds his path in life.This book is very intense reading as the story progresses we are drawn further and further into Alex's thoughts, his feelings and actions. There is no way to fully describe this tale without actually re-telling it, this is an introspective look at the life of a troubled young man, a young man whose life journey is both fraught with heartache and despair but in the end proves that one can triumph over one's past mistakes.Upon further investigation into this tale it came to my attention that this is somewhat of an autobiography of the author's own life growing up. It proved to me that a person can be more than they ever thought if only they worked at it hard enough, taking the opportunities that came their way to make a life they can be proud of and a life that they enjoyed living.Once again I reiterate this is not an easy story to read as it is harshly realistic in it's honest portrayal of a very dysfunctional family that is made up of Alex and his alcoholic father, his younger brother who lives with their easily led astray mother and all the baggage that each one of them bring to the mix. [An ecopy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.]