Book review of The Last Road Home by Danny Johnson … “a compelling read about true friendship, love and the strength and depth of the human soul.”

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The Last Road Home by Danny Johnson is an excellent story. Take Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mocking Bird and the classic Vietnam war film, Platoon, put them together in a story that relates the gritty and brutal reality of life growing up in the deep south of America during the 1950s and 1960s, when racism and inequality towards African-Americans is bone-chilling and reaching a fever pitch and when the Vietnam war is raging. Put young love into the mix, survival, twists and turns that no one could have expected, and yet so tangibly real, and you have a tale that holds you to the end. Johnson does an excellent job of creating compelling dialogues, meaty and real, and yet salted with enough humor to make this story a real pleasure. The writing style is true to its theme, the story of a young white boy and young black girl, from two entirely different cultures, who become the best of friends and lovers, and who are forced to hide their love because of the hatred, prejudice and fear which surrounds them. There are colorful phrases, worthy of quotation, such as:

“Grandma had a wide face, like somebody had grabbed both cheeks and stretched them. She joked that her wrinkles were a road map of hard times and bad luck.” Or, “War doesn’t end with a period, just a comma. When you survive, demons often come to live with you, and it’s possible many won’t go away.”

The Last Road Home leaves an indelibly deep emotional footprint on the mind. This is a story that many people can relate to, about a time in recent history when the human soul and the revolutionary minds of the young, rebelled against the crusty and oppressive mediocrity of cultural oppression, hatred and prejudice. An awakening that could not and would not be repressed and one which would go on to change the world. It is an insightful, gritty and compelling read about true friendship, love and the strength and depth of the human soul. Highly recommended.

Book review by International Writers Inspiring Change

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