Thursday, November 12, 2015

Carrying Albert Home - Book Review

Every now and then a book comes along that is the perfect combination of quirky and sweet and fun and entertaining and you just fall in love. It's been awhile since I've found a book like this that I can embrace and recommend to everyone. Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam made me laugh and sigh and want to talk about it constantly. At least a dozen times I turned to Randy and said "You have to hear about this. Wait. Never mind. I'm going to make you read this book." I knew I wanted to read this book as soon as I saw the fanciful cover and the subtitle: "The Somewhat True Story of a Man, His Wife, and Her Alligator".

Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam is the story of Homer's parents and their trip to Florida to return the alligator Elsie received as a wedding present from an ex-boyfriend, actor Buddy Ebsen, for whom she still harbors a flame. Elsie's beloved alligator adores her but is getting too big to live in their West Virginia home and her husband Homer (the author's father) insists on returning him to Florida. On their journey, Elsie and Homer will come to understand each other and themselves as they have the adventure of a lifetime.

Hickam's writing completely captures the winsome magic and the history of the period as he tells the stories of his parents' adventures that include marching with union strikers and surviving the horrific hurricane that hit the Florida Keys in 1935 (also the topic of Zora Neale Hurston's beautiful novel Their Eyes Were Watching God). Anyone who is related to a storyteller (I am blessed to have known two--my grandfather and father) recognizes that a true storyteller combines truth with exaggerated flair to fully recreate the perceived reality. Homer Hickam and his parents have this remarkable gift.

Carrying Albert Home is a delightful novel. It is at once the story of Hickam's parents and the story of Depression era America--a tale that is so large it defies reality and yet you want every single word to be true. Imaginative and fresh, Hickam's novel completely stole my heart.

Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam is published by William Morrow and released in October 2015.

**I received a complimentary copy of Carrying Albert Home. No compensation was received. All opinions are my own.**

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