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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
The Back Road to Success by Robert L Weaver is a short novella that reminds us that the direct route is not always the only way to get where you need to go in this world. Star Wainright is perhaps typical of many youngsters today. He seems to be no great shakes academically, and struggles on the sports field. Negotiating high school, in a small country town, and its trials and tribulations are success enough for him. When he graduates, he has no real plans except perhaps to laze around at home for a while and an amorphous idea that he might join the military. Star’s mother insists that no child of hers is going to laze around the house all day and if he had no plans to go to college, then he better get out there and find a job. In desperation, to get away from his mother’s nagging, Star agrees to attend a pre-college work experience, two weeks, for kids who have not yet decided on a future direction. Much to his surprise, Star likes college life.
Although this is a short story, it does speak to the many young people out there who graduate from high school without any real idea of where they want to go or what they want to do next. I felt there was more room for exploring various aspects of college life and Star’s personality that the author was unable to explore because the story was so short. There is potential in this story for a full novel and Weaver may want to consider that in the future. I suspect there is another installment coming on Star Wainright’s college days. The author did well to show that there are options when a person or a family cannot afford to send their child to college. Ironically, it was signing up for the National Guard and becoming a “Weekend Warrior” that allowed Star to continue his education. This is a short, but satisfying story.