Mar 6, 2008

Keeper and Kid

by Edward Hardy

The best thing about this book is that I really, really could relate. My daughter is the exact same age as this kid. Raising a toddler really can make you feel like you're always dealing with one demand or disaster after another. But at least I was somewhat expecting that. It's not the case with Hardy's main character, James Keeper.

He's been divorced for several years, now in a new relationship but continually thinking of the old one. One day out of the blue he gets a phone call: his ex-wife is in the hospital. Nearly on her deathbed (though he doesn't know it yet) she asks him to promise to take his dog back. Only later when he shows up to collect, it's not a canine but a child: his child, fathered three years ago during a trip to a family reunion he attended to maintain a false front for a grandfather who didn't know they'd divorced. This guy doesn't know how to deal with kids, but he has one now. Worse, his girlfriend doesn't want to have anything to do with kids at all. In the ensuing winter months, James (or "Keeper" as he's often called) slides around trying to find his footing in the new, strange territory of fatherhood.

I had a hard time putting Keeper and Kid down. Alongside the main story, I was intrigued with Keeper's interesting job: finding old, valuable items to sell online or in his scrapyard/antique shop. I liked the surreal part of his weekly card nights with friends where they viewed forty-year-old slides chronicling the vacations of an unknown family, found in an antique chest. And most of the descriptions of life with a toddler rang home. Though I got a bit tired of Keeper's hopelessness and self-pity his friends prove themselves to be true, and he learns that no one can raise a child alone.

Rating: 3/5 ........ 294 pages, 2007

Read another review:
Booking Mama
Book Addiction
Ardent Reader

7 comments:

lisamm said...

Oooooo sounds good! I won a copy of this a couple of weeks ago but haven't started it yet. Now I'm looking forward to it even more.

Dana said...

Sounds like a great book!!

Melody said...

This sounds like a great book, Jeane. Will have to check it out... thanks for the review!

Trish said...

Sounds good! It's amazing the treasures you can find in antique shops (although...as the saying goes...one man's treasure is another man's junk). :)

Jeane said...

Lisamm- I'll be interested to hear what you say after you've read it!

Dana- Yep, it is.

Melody- You're welcome. Always glad to point people to good books.

Trish- I used to love poking through antique shops with my father. I still have a pair of WWII German field glasses he bought me from one- they're fantastic!

Erin said...

I just got this at the library last week and didn't have big expectations for it -- but, like you, couldn't put it down. Really enjoyable read.

Jeane said...

Erin- I felt the same way. Low expectations going in, gripping story that held me all the way.