Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ugly to Start With by John M. Cummings

Ugly to Start With is a compilation of thirteen stories about childhood. Each story inter-connects with another, so it's a joy to see a familiar face when you begin a new tale.

The family believes that if it ugly to start with, or turned ugly; they were ashamed of it and wanted it to go away. When Skinny Minnie, the cat, had so many scabs she was ugly, they constantly tried to get her to go away. Some of the antics were very mean.

Then there’s Jason's friend's father who is the park superintendent and being charged with sexual harassment. Boys being boys, they get into an argument about it. Jason talks about what his dad has done wrong, hoping to get the other boy to talk about his dad - the one the big talk on the radio.

Just two out of thirteen stories that journey a young boy growing up. Small town life is familiar to me as I grew up in one, so I relished the subtle details about the town depicted in Ugly To Start With. Although each story is only a few pages or so, the author has such a keen way with words, that the interaction is a believable and riveting experience. Thoroughly entertaining, Ugly to Start With will leave readers anxious for more adventures!

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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