The Way To Stay In Destiny - Audio Library Edition (2000)
The Way to Stay in Destiny - Audio Library Edition (2000)
3.96 of 5 Votes: 5
0545788706 (ISBN13: 9780545788700)
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I just never felt emotionally invested and I couldn't understand the motivations of most of the characters. Theo's scooped up by a long-lost uncle after his grandparents get too sick to take care of him and for some reason, they head to Florida instead of back to Alaska where his uncle's been living (maybe Alaska is too rough for children?). At first, the only thing Theo can stand about his new town is the beautiful piano at the boarding house where he and Raymond are living. Theo is a gifted natural musician and claims that he can't stand to be separated from music (although we're never really privvy to how Theo actually feels about it. We're told many times, but never really shown). Unfortunately, Raymond can't stand music (why he decided to live at a dance studio is never explained - maybe there are literally no other places to live?) and he forbids Theo to play the piano. Theo ignores him and plays all the time and there is never any consequence from Raymond. Raymond threatens to leave Destiny, which super bums Theo out because suddenly he loves it there and Theo's now desperate to stay in this town that he's apparently grown to adore in the space of, like, two weeks. But still, there's no real threat. It's not that I want a child to feel threatened, but there was just nothing at stake in this book. Theo pretty much did whatever he wanted. He didn't wrestle with any guilt over his decision to play the piano when he'd been expressly forbidden. Raymond's experiences fighting in Vietnam are glossed over, as is his rocky relationship with his sister, Theo's late mother, and her objection to the war. I dunno... people have been really liking this book, but it was "meh" for me. Like Glory Be, this book really captures the feel and mood of southern life, in this case a sleepy, hot Florida town named Destiny. Theo, who lost his parents at age 4, has left behind his life in Kentucky with aging grandparents to move to Destiny with his uncle, a Vietnam Vet with leftover anger issues for Theo's parents. Although living with a strict uncle is hard, Theo tries to create a new life with the very nice boarding house owner, a new friend, and most of all the piano in the drawing room. A moving and colorful story and the first I've read that features a Vietnam Vet scarred from a bad war that still has to contend with nightmares, etc.
Very enjoyable story. I always love a book that has a strong male female friendship.
Fine narration, vivid setting and endearing characters.
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