I’m sharing a book review today for a recent historical fiction release: The Right Kind of Fool by Sarah Loudin Thomas. The gorgeous cover (those mountains!) is rightly reflective of the poignant story inside.
Thirteen-year-old Loyal Raines is supposed to stay close to home on a hot summer day in 1934. When he slips away for a quick swim in the river and finds a dead body, he wishes he’d obeyed his mother. The ripples caused by his discovery will impact the town of Beverly, West Virginia, in ways no one could have imagined.
The first person those ripples disturb is Loyal’s absentee father. When Creed Raines realized his infant son was deaf, he headed for the hills, returning only to help meet his family’s basic needs. But when Loyal, now a young teen, stumbles upon a murder it’s his father he runs to tell–shaping the words with his hands. As Creed is pulled into the investigation he discovers that what sets his son apart isn’t his inability to hear but rather his courage. Longing to reclaim the life he abandoned, Creed will have to do more than help solve a murder if he wants to win his family’s hearts again.
The Right Kind of Fool is an excellent piece of historical fiction! Blending an intriguing mystery and poignant family drama, its characters are as unique and vivid as its Appalachian setting. Loyal’s point of view, especially, is well crafted and offers a sensitive and authentic-feeling portrayal of a deaf individual, complicated by his status as a boy on the cusp of manhood learning responsibility.
The slight suspense storyline is cleverly paced, with perspective changes and enough unpredictability to keep the reader guessing. All of the turmoil combines with the emotional crux the Raines family is thrown into; one that proves to be a summer of change for everyone involved. Themes of grace, trust, and strength all weave together in this beautiful and highly engaging story I would recommend to fans of historical fiction, drama, suspense, and romance alike.
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy. This is my honest review.