Billy Creekmore: A Novel Review

Billy Creekmore: A Novel
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In the early 1900's, "The Guardian Angels Home for Boys" is anything but. In this grim setting in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, ten-year-old Billy Creekmore exists - barely. The most that Billy can hope for is that Mr. Colder will take him away to work in the glassworks when he is twelve. When a friend reports back about the true conditions of the glassworks, that hope dies hard. Overhearing that Mr. Colder is going to employ him despite his tender age, Billy prepares to run away. Fortuitously, a long-lost relative turns up and whisks Billy away to his first true home.
Billy's misadventures are legion, taking him from the orphanage through the pre-union coal mines into a traveling circus. Along the way, Billy meets his biological father and tries mightily and ultimately unsuccessfully to believe in the goodness of this unsavory circus grifter. Misfortunes, however, do not harden Billy's good heart. As a protagonist, Billy is a sweet-natured charmer of animals and people -- including readers.

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Folks say I'm bound to be unlucky in life, for I was born at midnight on a Friday, the thirteenth of December, and Peggy says it's certain I can commune with spirits. But I ain't never seen any ghosts, not even my own mother, and wouldn't that be the ghost I'd see if I could?

So begins the tale of Billy Creekmore, a boy with mystifying powers and the glorious gift of storytelling. But what does life hold for someone growing up in the cruel clutches of the Guardian Angels Home for Boys, where Billy's gifts do more harm than good?

Escaping the orphanage seems an impossible feat, but when a stranger comes to claim Billy, he sets off on an extraordinary journey. With only a tin box that holds precious mementos of his beloved mother and mysterious father, Billy travels from the coal mines of West Virginia to the spectacular world of a traveling circus in search of his past, his future, and his own true self.

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