Reviewer Sandy Graham: Born and raised in Canada, Sandy spent 35 years with The Boeing Company in a variety of engineering and management positions. After retirement, he satisfied a long-standing urge to delve into creative writing. Sandy has authored three novels, Two Loves Lost, The Pizza Dough King and Murder – On Salt Spring?
The Corner Window is the story of Frank Baldwin’s transition from teenager to adult in a few short weeks following high school graduation. Coming from a confused, torturous upbringing blamed on a broken home, Frank suffers from a lack of self-confidence, even self-worth. He tries to get away by taking a summer job maintaining an isolated beach house on the Pacific coast. His employer is prejudiced against hiring young people but has no alternative. He makes it abundantly clear that he is sceptical of Frank’s ability or inclination to do an adequate job. Learning to meet his employer’s demands, accomplish tasks without training and stick to them until complete presents him with a grow up or fail challenge.
He soon meets a serious distraction in the form of a beautiful yet mysterious girl living in forced seclusion at a next-door beach house. Her family comes from a wealthy Central American background which places her far above Frank on their social scale. The clash of cultures and unknown circumstances surrounding her family’s stay at the beach undermine the pair’s development of a relationship. Frank is torn between reality and desire for what proves to be a fragile romance.
Much of the first two-thirds of the book dwells on Frank’s thoughts and misgivings. The turmoil in Frank’s mind seems overplayed. In the last third, the story gathers a head of steam and flows much better, drawing the reader in to the end.
Rachel has an interesting story line which builds to a good climax. However, the reader must persevere through belabored prose, misused words and unnecessary redundancy to get there. In short, the book suffers from a lack of professional editing. Despite this, Rachel develops believable and interesting characters. His use of dialog is good. In fact, dialog keeps the story moving. Both Frank’s comments and thoughts will resonate with teenage readers of this coming of age novel.
According to Darrel Rachel's website, he is a native of Oklahoma and has wandered over many other parts of the world. His first attempt at writing was a novel , The Circling Eagle. His first self-published work was Letters From Abigail, followed by No Man's Home, Nora"s Song, The Magnolia's Still Bloom, and Ballinger's Lake.These were followed by The Circling Eagle, The Saigon Connection, and The Corner Window. He states on his site that he developed an early interest in writing from reading the novels of Mark Twain and Zane Gray. The first two books I ever read were Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Westerns were very popular during this period and I thrilled to Riders of the Purple Sage and other Zane Gray classics. I still have a great fondness for westerns although the genre is not as popular as it once was. I consider Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty to be the greatest western novel I have ever read.
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