Friday 5 April 2013

Running Barefoot by Amy Harmon

Reviewed by Donna 4 Stars

Once again I have been blown away by Amy Harmon's style of writing. I love the way her books draw you in until you are living the story with the characters.

"When Josie Jensen, an awkward 13-year-old musical prodigy, crashes headlong into new kid Samuel Yazzie, an 18-year-old Navajo boy full of anger and confusion, an unlikely friendship blooms. Josie teaches Samuel about words, music, and friendship, and along the way finds a kindred spirit. Upon graduation, Samuel abandons the sleepy, small town in search of a future and a life, leaving his young mentor behind. Many years go by, and Samuel returns to find his old friend in need of the very things she offered him years before. Their roles reversed, Samuel teaches Josie about life, love, and letting go.

Deeply romantic and poignant, 'Running Barefoot' is the story of a small town girl and a Native American boy, the ties that bind us to our homes and families, and the love that gives us wings."

This book was deeply emotional on so many levels, both when Josie was 13 years old, too wise for her years brought on by her mothers death when she was 9 years old and basically becoming the mother and wife all rolled into one..she had to grow up early and quickly to look after her 4 brothers and her dad. She was always different, clever, musically gifted and introverted...Samuel was an outcast of sorts he kept himself to himself until one day on the school bus when Josie was being bullied, he stood up to the bully in her defense after which they became firm friends. Josie helped Samuel through this dark, self destructive phase despite the age gap she was 13 he was 18..he then went and enlisted into the marines leaving Josie behind...even then Samuel loved Josie but felt that he could not act upon it because of the age gap, so he took the easy way out and cut all contact.

Josie reluctantly gets on with her life trying to push Samuel to the back her mind..she eventually falls in love again..without spoiling it you will have to see what happens.. Josie was so musically gifted she had won scholarships to Universities for her talent...however fate and circumstances keep her from taking the scholarships so she remains in her small little town, taking care of her family and never acting upon her hopes, dreams and aspirations.

Samuel comes back into town 7 years later and cannot believe how much Josie has changed, how sad and introverted she has become..she is now the one that needs saving and he makes it his mission to do it. He has never stopped loving her and only now feels that the age gap is not an issue so he makes his moves....sighhhhhhh I LOVED it!!

The insight into the Navajo way of life was so interesting...even learning about composers and classical music, I was enthralled. I could not put the book down...I had tears and smiles throughout this book and it pulled at my heart strings. A good solid 4 stars from me.