A beautifully woven novel about an unusual boy… and how he learns to be a father, without having really been a son.
A comical, honest love story between two lost souls who complete each other.
By Kirkus Reviews Jan 2013
Starlight begat Jeromeo, then abandoned him at her mother’s second husband’s house to seek her hippie destiny. Jerry Clover grew up with those good people, deeply rooted. Starlight winked in and out over the years, the mother who wasn’t. His mother’s mother’s constant care shaped a strong-willed tender hearted man who was fascinated by family ties.
A bit of the nomad must have trickled down to him because he left the city to establish an independent life at the shore driving a tow truck, lending a hand, untangling the aftermath of Drivers vs. Cars, Creatures, Inanimate Objects, et al.
When his Grandma Eileen was widowed again late in life, Jerry expected her to hire a home companion but she had another idea.
Rose Hardeen had married a pig, the first baby was an accident and the second was a disaster. She found herself in a women’s shelter, vowing to become self-sufficient. After plowing through nursing school on grants and public aid, Rose got a job at a clinic near the shelter. She ran into Eileen who hired her and the kids to share a house, exchanging chores for room and board.
That’s how it all started.
Kathleen K. introduces The Lent Hand in a collection of her Private Publications becoming available in print and e-book format. All-age narrative fiction of family life and her adults-only bedside readers share the same rich prose and spot-on dialog. This is character-driven story telling; easy to read but hard to forget.
The Lent Hand — Sample
I’m in mind of a young girl, maybe eleven, protective of her mother. She told me they were recently divorced and having a hard time concentrating. They’d skidded into the runoff ditch when a tire blew. I would have to get the little car level before I could change the tire so it was going to be a while; I told myself to talk to Gus about slipping some good tires onto that old dog of a car. This young girl took her mother’s hand and led her down the road to the gas station just visible on the horizon. They would be of no help to me at the scene, not even as company, because the girl was kept busy herding her mother along. Too bad the girl wasn’t old enough to drive; they’d have been in better hands.
The mother was washed out, disinterested in life. I didn’t know what she’d been like before the divorce but at this point I couldn’t credit her with her daughter’s maturity unless it was hot-house grown by the woman’s timidity. This girl was the sort I liked when I was her age; she was dignified and responsible. I doubted she shrieked with dismissive cruelty towards other kids, she wouldn’t gang up on anybody. What I couldn’t forget was the pang I felt when I realized that I was seeing what my own role would have been if Starlight had kept me with her. I would have been the one to keep track of the food and put myself to bed.
BISAC: Fiction / Family Life