On Parson's Creek


Young Adult - Mystery
218 Pages
Reviewed on 09/02/2015
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    Book Review

Reviewed by J. Aislynn d'Merricksson for Readers' Favorite

On Parson's Creek by Richard Sutton is a story of mystery and intrigue, of myth and legend come to life, and of one boy's quest for the truth. Jack and his family have moved to a small town nestled in the forest at the feet of the Cascades. Being a curious young man, Jack goes exploring in the forest around his home and stumbles upon a long abandoned mining site. Intrigued by the history, Jack seeks to learn more, but what he finds doesn't at all match the 'official' story gleaned from old newspapers, interviews with townsfolk, and his own knowledge of steam engines. Determined to discover what really happened, Jack digs deeper and deeper. What he finds is something that defies rational explanation, at least as we know it.

Jack is new to the area, a close-knit, rural community. Sutton did a wonderful job of portraying a young man trying to fit into a new school and make friends when he's seen as an outsider. This doesn't get easier when he starts snooping in things the locals don't like talking about. Jack doesn't find quite all the answers he's looking for, but then, that's how life really works, isn't it? And we, as the reader, are left with a bit of mystery and wonder for we've brushed against something that is perhaps better left in shadow and the dancing eddies of time.

Sutton's On Parson's Creek pulled me in right from the beginning. I couldn't put it down. I felt as if I were right there with Jack as he went about his adventures. Great descriptions helped flesh the scenes out, making it easy to 'live the story.' I enjoyed it so much that I've added this delightful read to my class reading lists so my students have the option of choosing it for an assignment.