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Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Hello, Old Friend: Awright Auld Mukker by Joseph Tristan is a charming novel about a special friendship that developed between nine-year-old Christian and his 45-year-old Scottish neighbor, Kian. Many of their fondest memories happened at the Lucky Three Camp in the beautiful Allegheny National Forest in Western Pennsylvania, where they went hunting, and where Christian worked all of his summers through high school and a few summers during college. He later had to do an internship at a few different law firms so he was unable to join his friend that often at the camp anymore. He got even busier after graduating from law school, and after a year or so, he got married and started his own family. Despite the physical distance, however, the twenty-six-year bond between the two proves to be unbreakable. The story unravels when Christian went camping with his family and learned about the passing of his dear friend. This brought back a flood of beautiful memories that he shared with his wife Maddy, son Jayden, and daughter Caitlin. The sad news came as a complete surprise because Kian had kept his sickness a secret, wanting his friends to remember him as the happy, burly Scotsman, not the sick man he became in his last few days. The biggest surprise, however, is that Kian also included Christian in his last will and testament. Missing his old friend very much, will Christian get his wish to talk to his dear old friend to thank him for his friendship one last time?
Joseph Tristan’s Hello, Old Friend is a delightful story about friendship and family, faith and love, and life itself. It is about the special bond that brings people together that lasts more than a lifetime. In short, it is about the most important things in life. Written from Christian’s point of view, this is an uplifting novel and should give the reader an optimistic point of view on life, especially after the turmoil of the last few years brought about by the pandemic and other events. Hello, Old Friend should remind us that relationships are the most important things in the world because they’re the most crucial factor for happiness. The book is also a treasure trove of information about Scotland and its culture, especially in the bonus short stories at the end. I find it difficult to understand the Scottish language but there is a Scottish to English Legend at the beginning of the novel so you might have to check it from time to time. Aside from this, it is an easy and engaging read. The author’s descriptive style engages the reader by crafting a colorful picture of characters, settings, and events. Dialogue-driven, a sense of humor shines through especially in the conversations between husband and wife and their children. This is a novel about ordinary people who spread goodness in the world in their own special way and I highly recommend it to readers of all ages!