Friday, August 10, 2012

The Hermitage House Miracle by Malcolm Ater

As Jamie lay alone in bed, not knowing that his mother had just been killed while driving drunk, he's filled with disturbing thoughts. The last words his mother had said to him before going out were, "I've given you the last six years of my life, and for what? To always be running from one town to another? Never having a life of my own just so you could live?" And then in a drunken slur she had added, "If I had a lick of sense I'd have let old Ernie do what he wanted."

Why had his mother said she had given him the last six years of her life when he was twelve years old? Why did she always seem to resent him? Who was Ernie? And why couldn't he remember anything about his life before his first day of school in the first grade? The only thought that comforted him was the newspaper story dated only a few days earlier on May 24, 1992. The article reported that a new wave of computer games would soon replace the old pinball machines and "boggle the mind" with realistic video techniques that could only be dreamed about a few years earlier. The article had aroused a curious excitement in him, and he didn't know why.

After being sent to live at the Hermitage House for Children, Jamie begins to have a series of strange and troubling dreams. Each dream is about a little blond-haired boy who has a little sister and a mother and a father. But the woman is not his mother who was killed in the car accident and he had never known his father. Yet his dreams are always about the same family, especially the little boy and his dog. And the father programs computers and makes games, even promising to build the boy a video game that's so life-like the boy will think he's actually inside it.

As Jamie wonders about the meaning of his dreams, he visits a local arcade where he sees a brand new video game that is almost magical in its appearance. Jamie is the only person who plays the machine, and in the video game he sees the same little boy and his dog.

Sometimes, dreams turn into reality...

My thoughts...

It's late May 1992 and twelve-year-old Jamie Wilson's life is a mess. All his life he and his mother have moved a lot, living in slum apartments. His mother takes low paying jobs and they never have enough, she drinks a lot and he is without the mother's love that a child should have. His mother is killed one day on her way to work and Jamie ends up in an orphanage run by nuns.

Jamie meets Antonio and they become best friends. Antonio eventually gets adopted and once again Jamie is alone. He is disturbed by recurrent dreams, I won't give away any more but I will say this is a great book, Jamie has had a difficult and sad life. Ater is a good storyteller, his writing draws you into the book immediately. I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

I received an ecopy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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