In Fred Hosley’s poignant and memorable coming-of-age tale, the strains of early rock ‘n’ roll in the sunny beach town of Clearwater, Florida, provide the perfect backdrop for a group of young adolescents growing up in the ’50s.
Twelve-year old Matt Parker is known throughout his friendly waterside community as a smart, respectful, and likeable individual. With summer winding down, he and his buddies look forward to the new school year, until Matt is unexpectedly asked to look out for a fellow classmate being threatened by an older bully.
The leather jacket, T-shirt and Levi-clad Wayne Tyson is intent on proving his toughness. But when a warning prank from Wayne goes too far, Matt and his steadfast friends create an elaborate ruse to thwart Wayne’s nefarious actions. The story’s tension and excitement build as this group of pre-teens, under Matt’s creative direction, exact their own form of justice, from sneak attacks reminiscent of John Wayne’s movie heroics to a meticulous plan involving fabricated claims on a buried treasure.
Hosley provides a varied and supporting cast, including loving parents who guide their offspring on a steady path, mentoring teachers offering sound advice, and the wisdom of a cantankerous neighbor with a soft side.
Sorry You Missed It… takes readers back to an earlier time, with the rhythmic beats of Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Elvis and a host of other legendary musical performers forming the soundtrack of these young pubescent lives. Amidst fishing trips and camping excursions, “boys will be boys” humor and fascinations, dance parties and teen angst, a balanced blend of narrative, pondering thought, and lively conversation easily draws readers into the steadily moving tale. The full-circle, heartfelt epilogue takes the central characters five decades into the future.
Sorry You Missed It… represents fine storytelling. With its blend of small-town Americana charm, spot-on characterization, and life lessons that move beyond the page, its classic stylings should find broad appeal.
Also available as an ebook.