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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘Deacon’s Folly’ by James Thibeault

The Tree House

I’ve been dumb for a while, but lately the dumb’s been getting dumber. I nailed my right hand to the tree house. Where the four bones spread out like a garden rake, the nail went through the middle two like the flesh was tissue paper. All I was trying to do was to replace some rotting wood with fresh planks. The boards were all covered with yellow goo and wood was crumbling away just by my picking at it.

That morning I asked Mr. Audette – the one who sort of looks after me, or as he calls it, the man who makes sure I stay out of any more trouble – if I could use the six inch wire nails he’d stolen from the mine. I had to be pretty careful when asking him a question, especially if he’d passed out in his lawn chair. He didn’t like to be bothered. During those summer days, he worked at the copper mine, came home to sit in the back yard and drink, then pass out before sunset. Some days he would mix it up, but mostly it involved a lot of heavy drinking and swearing.

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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • Hi Sandra,

      This is a YA book, with so much more potential in the adult marketplace. If I share just these two small snippets from the book’s full premise, you’ll see what I mean …

      “James Thibeault’s The Deacon’s Folly is a bleak but strangely engaging Brothers Grimm sort of fable, tottering precariously between both the reality and the dream-memory of young Devon, the story’s hero.”

      “At its core this book is about a young man who is forced by an entire town to come to terms with his disability and his efforts to learn to live in a community of individuals of lesser humanity than himself.” …

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your weekend 🙂

    • Hi Heather,

      It is great to have you visit Fiction Books for the first time, today. I enjoy ‘meeting’ new people and always look forward to reading new thoughts and comments 🙂

      For an opening couple of paragraphs, I found out quite a lot about the two characters mentioned, definitely enough to intrigue me and make me want to read on, even though when I was first approached by author, James Thibeault, I was not too sure whether I would be able to do justice to this intense storyline, as ‘Deacon’s Folly’ is quite a long way removed from my usual reading genres.

      It certainly does me good to be guided out of my reading comfort zone, every once in a while 🙂

  • Ouch! How on earth did he manage to put a nail through that part of his hand!? Okay… looking back at your earlier entry about this book, maybe I’ve answered my own question. 😉 It does sound intriguing, but still will wait on your full review before adding it to my wish list.

    I’ve just begun my next book club selection, Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal.

    “”There are times you wish you could change things, take things back, pretend they never existed. This was one of those times, Ibby Bell was thinking as she stared bug-eyed out the car window. Amid the double-galleried homes and brightly painted cottages on Prytania Street, there was one house that didn’t belong.”

    • Hi Kelly,

      I am intrigued to find out whether Devon’s obvious social and mental health issues are genetic; the result of an ‘accident’ which has been ignored by just about everyone; or something much worse which was inflicted on him by his parents before they abandoned him to the tender mercies of an ignorant and cruel community.

      Obviously, even Devon, has managed to work out that Mr. Audette isn’t much of a carer or mentor, but I suppose if he is the only one who shows any kind of compassion, then he is going to be looked up to by this vulnerable young man ….
      Thanks for sharing the first lines of ‘Dollbaby’ and although I did check out the full premise, I would have definitely continued reading on the strength of those opening words …

      “There are times you wish you could change things, take things back, pretend they never existed.” …

      I also know just how Ibby is feeling as she looks at the passing houses on Prytania Street and I’m guessing the one she is heading for, is the worst kept one in the neighbourhood. Whenever we have contemplated moving house, collected the crib sheet on a potential property from the agent and done a recce drive-by on the place before making an appointment to view, we can always tell which one is the property we are looking for, long before we can see any house number, as it will always be the worst kept house on the street!

      Seriously, ‘Dollbaby’ sounds like a great piece of social history as much as anything else and even though it isn’t our social history, it does sound fascinating and eminently readable 🙂

  • This sounds really interesting – makes me wonder why Deacon is sort of on his own and why he doesn’t seem to have parents – at least that’s what I got from the beginning – I’m also curious if he often hurts himself while trying to do things – like if there is some kind of mental issue going on with him too. Here’s my Friday meme

    • Hi Maria,

      I just realised that the opening lines of the book, don’t actually name the person they concern, so perhaps I should say that it isn’t the ‘Deacon’ of the books title. The main protagonist, is a young man by the name of Devon and I very much suspect that he is going to be generally perceived as ‘the folly’ of Deacon.

      Devon is definitely a very confused, mis-understood and shunned young man, who lives on the fringes of the community. Deacon tries to force Devon’s hand in finding out the truth about his past and family … I am already wondering if this is to help Devon comes to terms with whatever truth he uncovers, or if Deacon is the one who really wants to find out as much as possible, in order to keep some kind of holding control over Devon?

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and I hope that you are enjoying your weekend 🙂

    • Hi Nikki,

      It does sound as though this person is very accident prone, although as they describe themselves as dumb, I guess they already know that what they did was stupid!

      If I didn’t already know the full premise of the book, I would probably keep on reading, as I am already feeling sorry for the ‘dumb’ person and more than a little annoyed with Mr. Audette, so I would need to find out why one person has been left in the care of the other!

      This book has an intriguing storyline, written by an author who clearly knows about his subject, you really should check it out!

      I hope that you are well and have had a good weekend 🙂

    • Hi Lauren,

      This book would usually be well outside of my normal reading sphere, however, I was so intrigued by the synopsis, that I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to check out the story for myself.

      I can imagine that the levels of emotional intensity and brutality, are going to be quite high, however, as the author knows to some degree what he is talking about from personal experience, then unfolding events are perhaps something I can and should benefit from, by reading!

      Thanks for taking an interest in this time’s post and have a good week 🙂

  • Liking the cover, loving the synopsis. Yes, yes, yes, I’d continue reading The Tree House.

    Dawn was finally touching the sky to the east, turning it a bright scarlet, which was fitting considering how much blood had been spilt this night. My men were exhausted, lips blackened with dehydration, eyes creased with fatigue, their armour and weapons streaked with blood from a thousand vanquished tribesmen, who lay sprawled upon the improvised turf stockade we’d hastily erected upon the pass; it proved much of a barrier for the men to defend, but it’d been enough, and we’d cut the tribesmen down in their hundreds as they’d tried to crawl and hack their way over it.
    – Roman Mask by Thomas M.D. Brooke.

    • Hi Tracy,

      The cover art for ‘Deacon’s Folly’ is great, isn’t it? Author, James Thibeault,is a high school English teacher who works for Eagle Hill School in Hardwick, Massachusetts. With his B.A. and M.A. in English, he currently works with unique students with learning differences such as ADHD, Dyslexia, and NLD. Cover artist, Kyle Ebanks, is an Eagle Hill student.
      Sunrise and sunset skies, are my favourite times of day and always worthy of having a camera to hand.

      However, despite the excellent descriptive lines in this opening paragraph and the brilliant cover art, this wouldn’t really be a storyline which would appeal to me.

      My favourite line was …

      “My men were exhausted, lips blackened with dehydration, eyes creased with fatigue …”

      Thanks for sharing and I hope that you are one of the many who have read and enjoyed this book 🙂

    • Hi Naida,

      I must admit, that being very squeamish, I do hope that James doesn’t go into too much detail about this incident, past the reference I have quoted from the first chapter.

      I am not generally drawn to this genre of storyline, however I am intrigued about a small community which can banish someone like Devon from its midst, in such a cruel and callous fashion.

      I need to discover just how the situation resolves itself and if having to stand up to the townspeople makes Devon stronger for having done so!

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment 🙂

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