The Reckoning

By Howard Owen
Publisher:Permanent Press, (12/1/2010)

Average Rating:
5.00 out of 5 (1 Clubie's ratings)

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George James and Freeman Hawk were unlikely friends. George was part of soft-spoken, old-money Richmond; Freeman came from a hardscrabble country family mired in poverty and marked by violence.
Fate threw them together long ago as freshman roommates at New Hope College. It was the late 60s, and George was the standard-bearer for a society living on borrowed time while Freeman was leading the charge into what came next. Before they left New Hope, though, Freeman would convert George, convince him that there was a better world to be made, persuade him temporarily to forsake the seamless life that already was mapped out for him as the Ham Prince of Richmond. Canada. The option to war-bloodied America, beckoned. The moment of truth came in a small town on the Vermont border, where George James lost his faith in Freeman Hawk or perhaps in himself and hesitated.

Fast-forward to the early twenty-first century, in a world whose axis has been tilted by 9/11. George and his son Jake, are existing in a shaky approximation of normalcy, nursing the wounds of their own, personal loss as George negotiates the sale of the family business and Jake, plunged into despair and rage by his mother s death, is consigned to a private school for troubled teens.
Things get dicier when Freeman Hawk reappears. Nothing about him is as it seems, not even his name. Freeman is on the run, but from what?

In Howard Owen s ninth novel, old scabs are torn off and new wounds inflicted. In the end there will be a reckoning for all of them, and sixteen-year old Jake James will find himself at a border as daunting as the one from which his father turned back so long ago.
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Alice_Wonder's thoughts on "The Reckoning"
updated on:3/14/2011

At first when I received The Reckoning, I saw that it was only about 222 pages. I was concerned that the characters would not be very well developed. I was certainly wrong about that. This is a coming of age book for both father and son. Father's maturing process comes too late. Additionally, both father and son are grieving the loss of wife/mother. The teenage Jake is not getting much help from his father in this arena. George, the father, is also dealing with the selling of his business that has been owned for several generations and defined the men of the family.

Then George's old college buddy, Freeman Hawks, appears on the scene asking for sanctuary for some unrevealed reason. Freeman chose to leave the US and live in Canada during the Vietnam War era. George chose a fraternity and taking over the management of the family business. George still feels conflicts over the choices he made. He still idealizes his friend/hero, Freeman Hawks. Who really is this Freeman Hawks? Jake, being a normal questioning teenager, is not willing to unquestioningly adopt his father's perception of Hawks.

The title of this book is very important. I went from seeing it applicable as the numerical problem solving and counting to see that the choices in life we make will lead us eventually to a bill we must pay for the amount due.


"The Reckoning"
By Howard Owen

Average Rating:
5.00 out of 5 (1 Clubie's ratings)

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