As Good As Gone

as-good-as-goneAs Good As Gone by Larry Watson

recommended by Bryan

This book offers a great mix of character building with action, and more of the neo-western genre that I love. An old man, Calvin Sidey, returns from his self-imposed exile as a cowhand to the town where he was once a local mover-and-shaker to care for his two grandchildren for one week while their parents are off to another city so the children’s mother can have surgery. The old man left town decades before, leaving his young children behind, after his own wife died and he couldn’t deal with the grief.  Having few social graces, and no knowledge of how to relate to his grandchildren, Calvin’s return puts him in the middle their messy lives. His grandson is bullied by friends and his granddaughter is pursued by a guy with violent tendencies who will not accept that she no longer wants to be involved with him. To further complicate things, the old man reacts to these dangers with violence of his own, with mixed results. In the end, some things have worked themselves out but some things cannot be mended. Messy characters living messy lives offers no easy closure.

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