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Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Thanksgiving at the Inn (Young Adult)
Released October 2009
Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth
In THANKSGIVING AT THE INN, Heath Wellington III deals with the hardships in life. He's been wrongfully suspended from school, his alcoholic father is determined to punish him for cheating, there are bills to pay and not enough money to cover them and then Heath's grandfather dies. In the will, Heath and his father learn that they will not gain any of the elder Wellington's wealth unless they live and work at Heath's grandfather's bed and breakfast.
Heath is torn between guilt for not remembering his grandfather and anger at his father's attitude towards everything around them. Heath begins to make the most of their new situation, befriending the inn's variety of residents and learning the chores needed to keep the inn running. Meanwhile, his father seems to drift farther and farther away.
In essence, Tim Whitney offers a coming of age story. The reader watches Heath develop a backbone and realize that he has the power to change his situation. Meanwhile, the reader wonders if Heath's father, Junior, will ever get it.
The characters within the book range from Winstead, also called Preacher, a kindly Jamaican man with lots to teach to the elderly Mrs. Farrel who learned her husband was a cheat and swindler and is determined to make sure those he hurt receives a "gift" before her time is up.
When reviewing, I've always stopped to consider if I would willingly pay the suggested retail price for the book. At $16, I'm not convinced I would buy a hardcover copy of this book. It's good, but I didn't find myself mesmerized. Winstead's dialect became annoying to read with all the "dem" and "dat" instead of "them" or "that." I realize that Winstead was from Jamaica, but reading his dialect became a distraction.