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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Solomon's Porch by Janet Morris Grimes is a moving work of fiction about a man named Solomon struggling with dementia, but it also offers so much more. It's about the fight to survive, be remembered, and yearning to relive the past. This focuses on the protagonist's glory days when he lived in the lively military town of Ginger Ridge. All he has are flashbacks, memories, and yesterdays. He doesn't see himself as valuable, but he makes an impact on the future, nevertheless. They say everyone has a story to tell, and this book illustrates that concept in an unforgettable way.
The author skillfully weaves a multi-faceted story of self-worth, forgiveness, belonging, and hope. Though it has Christian themes, the powerful characters, situations, and plotline translate well for a general audience. The multiple POVs add an extra dimension to the characters, as it really brings you deeper into their thoughts, personalities, and lives. Some of the plot points overlap, and this makes for a more textured read. The issues can be painful at times, but Grimes handles them sensitively and respectfully. I like the message that we all have a role to play in life, and we never know how we may affect the lives of others. Another part I liked was Solomon's attachment to Ginger Ridge and what it meant to him. This book would be perfect for book clubs, classroom discussions, or a special gift, but most of all, it's an inspiring read for the individual. This author masterfully handles plot, setting, description, ambiance, character-building, themes, dialogue, subtext, pathos--all the things that go into a good story. Solomon's Porch, by Janet Morris Grimes, is one of those rare "Great American Novels" that you hope to come across and then pass on to someone else.