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Sandhills - A Novel by Alan Vandervoort

Sandhills - A Novel

by Alan Vandervoort

468 pages
A beautiful place of mystery became a path to love.

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Category: Fiction
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About the Book
Contains mature situations and profanity.

“Even in a harsh environment, beauty can be found.” It is a recurring theme and a lesson learned. The harsh reactions to unfulfilled expectations are in contrast to the beauty of music and a young girl. Awkwardness on the athletic fields of Portsmouth, Ohio, led Jeremy to embrace music and put distance between himself and a disappointed father. Jeremy’s father could not understand his son’s lack of athletic ability. He was more frustrated by his son’s lack of motivation.

There was something in the music that stirred Jeremy’s soul. Even in the first attempts at playing the trumpet, the sound was special. He endured years of practice, research, listening, instruction, critiques, and performances. The tone became an obsession.

Throughout his school years, Jeremy was able to disappear in his music and avoid the social landmines of adolescence. To perfect his talent, he made a bold choice to join the high school marching band. Jeremy ventured out of his comfort zone to a situation that demanded working with other people. Bandmates included Eric, the class clown; Doug and Abbie, the over-achievers; Aaron, the wounded football star who decided to hit the bass drum instead of opposing linemen; Stephanie, a young and beautiful trumpet player; Emily, a short girl with freckles who considered Jeremy a big brother; and Amelia, the new band director who depended on Jeremy to take the band to a new level of excellence.

With his love for music and abandonment of sports, the chasm between father and son grew. As his sister left for college, she whispered in his ear a sentence that would change Jeremy’s life, “Get out of here as soon as you can.”

Throughout Jeremy’s senior year in high school, he plotted and planned his escape. It would be after his eighteenth birthday to make it legal and after the Prom so he would not be missed for hours. He worked extra hours at his uncle’s bookstore to help fund the venture. He enlisted Aaron to help purchase a car. All the details were being covered.

In any well-plotted plan, a complication emerged. Working with people in the band included a particular person - Kate, a green-eyed girl in Jeremy’s neighborhood. They became friends. As their friendship grew, so did their feelings for one another. She became the love of his life and his date to the Prom.

His father’s solution was the military. A stint in the Army would pay for Jeremy’s college, take him away from a relationship his father disapproved of, and make him a man. So many forces were compelling Jeremy to stay; so many forces were urging him to leave.

The dilemma would be solved in a far-away place. Enlightenment will come from an unusual source. Answers will be discovered in a land of grandeur, history, and mystery – the Sandhills.


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About the Author
Alan Vandervoort lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with his wife Rebecca and their cat, Amelia. Writing is an important part of his professional work in the field of nonprofits. A life-long drummer, Alan owns a cornet, but only plays it on occasion out of respect for his housemates and neighbors.



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