Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Delicate Armor is a story reminiscent of simpler times, times spent at the lake, fishing, a meandering walk down Main street where everyone knows your name. Delicate Armor takes place in a small town in Minnesota near Lake Shetek starting in the 1950's. Callie Lindstrom is a spunky, tom boyish girl with a tendency toward pushing the limits. She has a very special relationship with her dad, who teaches her many things including his love of the great outdoors and how to catch and clean fish. Delicate Armor is a story of a girl growing up amid a family feud that lasts for a generation while she struggles to take her place in the world of men.
The second half of the book revisits Callie all grown up and her dad's struggle to reunite with his brother whom he hasn't spoken to in many years. Delicate Armor is about changes, in the world, the environment, in your hometown and in your family. Changes are what happens every day while you are busy looking the other way and how you deal with them says a lot about your character.
Szarke has created memorable characters, a realistic family drama and a honest look at small town America in the 1950's. The Lindstrom family is a family who believes in integrity and respect. The characters of Callie and Will are complex and moving. While reading Delicate Armor, I was able to draw on my own experiences with my father and grandfather and felt in many ways, I was reading part of my own story through Callie's narration. I, like Callie, was an excellent fisherman who cleaned her own fish (Grandpa's rules), caught a snapping turtle, went bullhead fishing and duck hunting. I even look like the girl on the cover of the book. I guess there is a reason certain books find us and we find ourselves within their pages. This is the experience that makes reading worthwhile and keeps me entranced within the pages of a good book.