Old Newgate Road by Keith Scribner
Book Review: 4 out of 5 star rating
Cole Callahan is returning to his home town after thirty years. He needs some chestnut wood from an old tobacco shed they’re tearing down there to use in his home restoration business. He hasn’t been back since his father killed his mother in an angry rage. When he stops by the old house, he couldn’t be more surprised to find his elderly father living there. His father, Phil, has been released from prison and has returned home. Phil is showing signs of dementia so Cole feels obligated to stay and help him out for a while. He’s also avoiding some problems at home. He and his wife, Nikki, have separated and his son, Daniel, has become a dedicated freegan but keeps running into problems with school and the police due to his high principles.
This is a very dark, deep, layered book about abuse in a dysfunctional family and how that abuse continued to work its evil in the lives of those who had previously endured it. There’s a lot going on in the plotline of this book but it never gets confusing or muddled. The only reason why I’m not giving this one 5 stars is that I had quite a bit of trouble understanding the touching scenes between Cole and his father and the affection and care he sometimes showed his father. This is the man who killed his mother and who made his children’s lives miserable before that. These scenes seemed to conflict with other things that were said in the book, how much Cole hated his father and never got over the death of his mother. But I guess family is family, plus Cole was dealing with so much guilt that he wasn’t able to save his mother, which would cause conflicting feelings in him.
Memorable story of a haunted family. Recommended.
This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.