Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Gang Territory Review

Jennospot 44  Gang Territory

Wadda yew know? Oi get a mention in a book review! Am Oi ever chuffed. An' cripes, my bruvver ain't 'alf jealous; 'im wot is a year older'n me too. Any'ow, it's Ginger Dawn Harmon wot wrote it. Oi ain't never met 'er 'cos she lives a bit far away from me in them United States of America, but Oi reckon she must be a real lovely lady, 'cos 'er son, wot's called Andrew, goes in fer soap-box racin', an' that's somefink wot Oi really loike. She 'ad some real noice fings ter say about "Gang Territory" an' all. This is wot she wrote:

A book review by Ginger Dawn Harman

Some stories in life become great novels that are exceptionally written, adorn a library, or perhaps become a well-known movie. However, very few novels have the ability to captivate the heart and soul as Peter St. John has in his novel Gang Territory. This reader has been captivated, charmed, and fallen in love with a cast of characters that touch every aspect of the lives we each live. The story begins in 1940. A young boy arrives in the village of Widdlington to live with his pious spinster aunt after his orphanage in London was bombed. The struggles procured in a new community, involving relationships, and the sculpturing of one’s faith, are just some of the complexities that Peter St John has emphasized in his novel, Gang Territory.

Many of the friends encountered along the way personify the spirit of growing together as a community that, although separated by boundaries or gang territories, teaches acceptance, love, and forgiveness. A common bond was formed with Archibald “Golfball” during government enforced milk breaks. There was also the loyalty and advice of Jenno. A bully named Snaylor, devised a contest of pissing over the privy wall, and there is the Vicar who lives with secrets. The acceptance of Mr. “Dummy” Pearce, with his primitive innocent ways, is another of the concurrences of growing up in a small village.

One of my favorite characters and exchanges was between Mrs. Rumble and Peter. Peter tells Mrs. Rumble that she was “one of the best Christians that I know. There’s more love in this little house than in any church I’ve ever been in the whole vast convent where I was.” An overflowing of tears, and the embrace of the Rumble family who didn’t attend a church, but lived the teachings of a higher power of love, goodness and human respect, is a great example of true Christianity. Furthermore, the gift of a soapbox derby cart, that has a bit of every community member in the axle, wheels, and paint scheme, opens the door to friendships that last for a lifetime. Examinations of behaviour, demonstrate the adult prejudice, and past transactions, that can bring about a change in the children of a community, and in an aunt who truly loves a little boy. The stories over lunch or on the playground, shared with an orphan and stranger to an established community, challenge each of us to examine our own life and sometimes listen to the heart of another, much like the cost and true loss of Mrs. King and Winnie during war. Sometimes we find out our greatest supporters are like Miss. Hanger and Miss Ufford, or come from a simple thankful prayer to God at bedtime.

Peter St. John displays talent, internal emotion, and interpersonal dynamics in his writings. His tale is one that we all share, each of us who grow into the world! Gang Territory is funny, touching, and full of love hidden in the heart that burst with each page. Get ready to laugh, cry, and fall in love with a great group from Widdlington, England! Peter St. John digs deeply into the soul and capriciousness of humankind! I highly recommend Gang Territory by Peter St. John!

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