Following Fake Man by Barbara Ware Holmes (Short Review)

Following Fake man was a novel I read in the seventh grade. Set in Maine and well written, it was one of my first experiences in critical literary engagement (though at the time I didn’t think of it as “critical.”). The plot follows twelve year old Homer and his mother as they return to Maine for a vacation. Yet bored and withdrawn from all that he knew, Homer finds nothing better to do than team up with a local boy and follow a mysterious man whom seems to know his mother. Determined to find the connection this man has to him, if any, the two boys embark upon heart-warming hijinks. There is a twist near the end which is quite moving, enough so that I still find it dramatic all these years later. The characters are well written with nothing ill-suited for children; after all, this is a book meant for children, one which, in all honesty, I am surprised hasn’t been made into a movie yet. Though it takes a tiny bit of effort to get into, once the initial oddity of the plot is past, the reader is invited to share in a fun filled family moment.

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