Reviewer Sue Ayers: Sue is a freelance writer
residing in Richmond, VA. She is a graduate of Virginia
Commonwealth University where she received a bachelor’s degree in
English. Ayers is a frequent contributor to many popular sites and
also blogs about staying sane in a crazy world at her WEBSITE
In The Rubber Room by Ivan Bosanko, destiny is working overtime to keep Jerry and KateLynn apart. Set in the 1950s, an era of extreme change, Jerry and KateLynn’s love for one another has remained solid. As high school sweethearts, they promised undying love to one another. On the evening of their formal high school prom event, Jerry and KateLynn finally make their pledge a reality.
However, the fates are cruel and Jerry and KateLynn must part ways for more than a year. Eventually, the two reconcile after Jerry has sewn his wild oats and KateLynn takes care of unforeseen and unplanned responsibilities. Jerry obviously has KateLynn in the forefront of his mind during his year of bachelorhood because, with the exception of a few lapses of judgment, he remains true to KateLynn. This is characteristic of Jerry, as he is extremely responsible in caring for his two young sisters and standing up against his alcoholic mother.
Finally, after many long months apart, the two prepare for the future; however, once again fate intervenes with different plans. As soon as they reconcile their differences and realize how strong their love actually is, Jerry receives a letter that changes everything. Once again, the two must part and, as difficult as it is, they each remain steadfast in their own beliefs and let one another go.
Bosanko has a wonderful way of intertwining short discourses of historic events throughout the book. For example, KateLynn’s father works for the railroad and we learn about the inner workings of railroad life as well as some history of the Korean War.
The characters in The Rubber Room are appealing and likeable even though there are really only a few throughout the novel. Bosanko stays focused on Jerry, KateLynn and her family and only introduces a few minor characters such as a couple of friends and a nurse later in the story. As a result, some of the scenes become slightly redundant with the same conversation being repeated. One is also left wondering about some important details such as why Jerry would allow his sisters to be taken into foster care early on when he is clearly very responsible and family oriented.
However, The Rubber Room exemplifies the era of the 1950s, especially how young people were coming into their own and breaking free of tradition and expectations. The characters are interesting, the story line is engaging and I look forward to more novels from the author.