The Mulligans of Mt. Jefferson is written by Don Reid and published by David C Cook.
The three main characters in this story are Cal, Harlan and Buddy. They grew up together in Virginia and were known for getting into trouble together. They were given a nickname, the Mulligans. This book is set in the late 1950's and centers on the search for the recent shooter of Harlan. They work together to try to find out why Harlan was shot.
The story jumps around a bit from past to present. You can easily get mixed up on who is doing what when. I still enjoyed the story and thought the writing was very good. The story itself was interesting and the characters were well written. You aren't into the book very far when you start to think you have met these men in real life.
I only gave this book 4/5 stars because I did get confused on some parts and felt it could have used more drama to move the story along. It was still interesting and is worth reading.
I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.
Mulligan means "do over" and it is the name of a Mt. Jefferson Restaurant.
Harlan, Buddy, and Cal grew up as best friendsâ€”none of them named Mulligan. This story tells of their growing-up years in the thirties to fifties. The adult story takes place in 1959. It starts as Harlan lies in the hospital suffering from a gunshot wound from an early-morning intruder.
As children, Cal kept them all in trouble. Harlan was the charmer and girl magnet. Buddy fell in love with his future wife as she practiced the piano in their home. The early years echo Mayberry, RFD, but, in manhood, each man must face his sins and suffer the consequences of them. In one case, he suffers for another's sin as his business falters.
As men, Harlan runs a jewelry store, Buddy joins the police force, and Cal becomes a Methodist minister. He never tells us what happened to change him, keeping it as a mysterious secret. All three manage parental businesses as young men. Later, as a police officer, Buddy must be tough as he tries to get the truth from the reticent Harlan and his wife Darcy. Cal tries to comfort them all. Will their friendship survive this difficult period?
The reader will find the characters likeable and the ending satisfyingly unexpected. The writing carries you along in a readable sequence. However, the long descriptions of their growing-up years slow the story. Perhaps they would fit better coming gradually throughout the mystery. At times, I forgot that Harlan lingered in a hospital.
I received this book from NetGalley. This is an honest review.
he Mulligans of Mt. Jefferson is a novel of friendships that span decades, the secrets that can be hidden even from the best of friends, and doing what is right. Written by Don Reid, one of the original Statler Bros., Mulligans is a sequel to his earlier novel O Little Town, but it can clearly be read as a stand alone book. Buddy, Cal, and Harlan grew up together, went off to war together, and settled back into adulthood with wives and families. Never did anyone expect that their routines would be interrupted by Harlan being shot in his own home. Buddy, a police officer, finds himself trying to find his friend's attacker, all the while feeling he is not receiving truthful information from Harlan or his wife. Cal, who has just returned to the community as the Methodist pastor, sees an unidentified pain in one friend's eyes and a rightful determination in the other's ; at the same time he continues to hide his own raw pain as he starts life without his wife and children.
Reid alternates present day action (set in the late 1950s) with flashbacks to "the three Mulligans" mischievous boyhood days. There are some intriguing, secretive characters in this book who are never completely revealed. One is "Uncle Vic," the restaurant owner who took the boys under his wing back when they were preteens and would pilfer his empty soda bottles from his back lot to turn around and sell them back to him for deposit. Perhaps his character as a professional golfer and his secretive past with the wife/mother of the town's powerful Greek family is better explained in the first novel, or maybe he will be a continuing cornerstone in future books. Most intriguing to me was Fritz, an older gentleman who worked in the back room of Harlan's jewelry store. Obviously, an immigrant, Fritz had a loyal bond with Harlan's family that transcends death and yet, he and Harlan barely speak.
Most male Christian fiction authors I have read write in either the fantasy or suspense genres Reid's style was a pleasant change of pace. The book has a fast pace, "Present day" action occurs over three or four days, while the flashback sections cover three decades of key insight. Essential bonds between readers and characters come from those flashback elements. You care about Cal's failed marriage because you've seen him grow up into an honorable man. You don't want to believe anything mad about Harlan because you watched his father mold him into a "good boy."
I received a copy of this title as an e-galley for review purposes. I was not compensated in any way for this review, which reflects my opinions.
The friendships that Cal, Harlan, and Buddy form in their childhood, continue through their teen years and into their adulthood. The reader follows the trio as they get into trouble, find love, marry, and go off to war. Friendships evolve and mature. The story opens when Harlan gets shot. The author intertwines the three backstories with the current shooting mystery, making an interesting plot.
I connected to each of the friends and to Uncle Vic. I was a teen in the 50's, and I remember when grown-ups took an active role in raising any youngster within reach, much like Uncle Vic. (I especially enjoyed the coke bottles escapade exchange.)
Don Reid of the Statler Brothers writes as well as he sings! Discussion questions included.
Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and David C. Cook for my copy.