Being a Texas transplant myself and seeing the explosion of growth in Austin, I was intrigued when I met John Clendening at the North Texas Book Festival. He told me about his book and the heart or almost hidden center of the story which is can a small town retain its soul as it expands?
The main character is a young man in his 20’s fresh out of college and on to his first job in journalism. He is dropped in the middle of a town fighting for and against the school mascot – a Coon – as in Raccoon but you have probably already realized where this is going. Growing up myself in a small town I remember all the things that might appear to be reality to those from the outside. That nice guy running the local ice cream hangout might be more than meets the eye. The hierarchy of families that have been there for generations or the new families moving in and wanting to be an immediate part of the tapestry. Who is controlling all the strings – there is always someone.
This book masterfully weaves its way into your heart and mind. Well done! And a joy to read.
On a side note, and this makes me sound very superficial – I read this in hardback format – Oh my, the feel, the smell – it’s been a while, and I was transported right back to feeling like an elite reader!
“They’re called the WHAT?!!” Young California journalist Marshall McDougal can’t believe what he sees on the water tower that welcomes him to his new home of small-town Frisco, Texas. Within hours of taking up his first newspaper job, he finds himself smack in the middle of a battle royal for the soul of the town, all centered on the racially-charged nickname of the high school sports teams. SIMPLE GLORY follows Marshall as he navigates through a dizzying array of opinions, facts, stories, histories, legends and traditions, which leads him to find out just how hard some people are working to keep Frisco from changing . . . even as others hold out hope that the new century will mean a new Frisco. (And seriously, what ABOUT that name?) Can this fish-out-of-water find his way? Will Frisco find its way? Can a small town maintain its soul even as it grows and expands with the times? Find the answers-and perhaps create some of your own-with this dramatic yet heartwarming story about a changing America at the dawn of the 21st century.