Greyhound by Steffan Piper

8528610Greyhound is one of those books that’s just nice to read. It is written well, with great characters and an enjoyable central premise. For me, it isn’t going to be one of those novels that will linger in my mind, but with each page I was entertained and interested. It’s a kind of coming of age story that has leanings towards a YA attitude – although there are many adult moments that would hold it back from the category.

Sebastien Ranes is an eleven year old boy. His mother is an appalling person who lives for nobody but herself and her own financial gain and one day, as she prepares to marry another in a long line of men, she dumps Sebastien on a Greyhound bus in LA and sends him, alone, on a 2,500 mile journey to Pittsburgh. Along the way Sebastien meets a varied cast of people, many friendly, a few are nefarious and one is very special.

The story describes how Sebastien comes to terms with aspects of his life and learns to shrug off his issues by meeting a man named Marcus, who has just got out of prison. Marcus is the learned, streetwise black man, we all want to know. For Sebastien, he is a surrogate father figure, if only for three days. Between the pair of them they look out for each other, discuss their problems and watch as America flows past their windows. Their relationship is a beautiful thing and certain aspects, though cliché will warm the heart with either happiness or anger.

The author, Piper, uses Sebastien as an innocent and naive viewing portal to the detritus in our world. We see how men hurl racism at Marcus and Sevastien reels from it and we see how his blank canvas of a mind deals with all this new information. It’s a sweet book and though can get a little over sentimental in places, it does a good job of making you think about the decisions you’ve made in life and how you view yourself. As a child of the eighties, there was nostalgia in abundance from its 1981 setting, too. Overall, the book just makes you feel good, despite the awful parenting and child cruelty described.

Published by AmazonEncore. This book was purchased and read on Kindle.

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