The novel, The Summer of ‘62 has a lot of me in it. Its setting is where I lived, northwest Ohio. Many of the feelings and events happened just as they are remembered. On the other hand, there are some embellishments and pure fiction. Several characters are combined. The protagonist, Rich Larsen, is made up of several people stroked with a heavy brush of fiction.
However, the feelings are that of one boy; a boy struggling with who he is and where he fits in a world nobody is really willing to take the time and explain. No one knows the boy, Rich Larsen, or his deep struggles, insecurities, hopes, ambitions, dreams, and conflicts. It might be said it is everyone’s story at one time or another but it is compounded by a dysfunctional world around him.
Rich Larsen lives on a farm but his heart and mind are elsewhere. He finds with each step he takes it is further from the reality that he exists in.
The entire summer of 1962 is a time of transition for him. Although manhood is a few years away for most his age, he is thrust into it. He cannot reconcile the reality of events with what he knows and feels to be a course of goodness, compassion, and caring.
He is completely lost and without hope and thus he makes a decision. That decision leaves the reader emotionally attached and spellbound to the despair Rich Larsen endures.
Taking place in the summer of 1962 makes it an excellent summer read. It takes you from sweaty days of working in the fields, county fairs, and hot summer nights where the only sound is that of June bugs and crickets and the distant glow of summer lightning.
The Summer of ‘62 is available in paperback or digital form.