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Summer of the Black Chevy by Kevin S. Giles

Summer of the Black Chevy

by Kevin S. Giles

320 pages
Set in the western Montana town of Deer Lodge in 1965 and built around a 1955 Chevrolet Bel-Air, "Summer of the Black Chevy" is the story of a boy's turbulent first summer as a teenager, exploring the themes of loss, forgiveness and renewal.

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Category: Fiction:Coming Of Age
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About the Book
Paul Morrison launches his first teenage summer at a school dance, longing for girls and the smack of baseballs at the city park. His innocence ends quickly that very night when a roaring black Chevy chases him into the dark, but itís the mysterious stranger driving it who scares him more.

Itís 1965 in Deer Lodge, Montana, a mountain town far from the busy faraway world that Paul and his girlfriend Marcy read about in books. Much closer to Deer Lodge are Butte and Anaconda, two tougher cities, and the stranger who charges into Paulís life knows them both.

Several tragic encounters unfold as the summer stretches on. Paul and his friends Blue and Max each experience hurt and loss, but itís Paul who learns how tragedy knows no boundaries.

Paulís new friend Louie, an older boy, is different from anyone heís ever met. Louie has a dark secret. Paul doesnít know that, at least at first. He sees Louieís rough character and fears his wild behavior. Only later will Paul, a thirteen-year-old boy, come to understand that really knowing Louie means discovering the part of him thatís not readily seen.

Paulís family lives in an old farmhouse but they donít farm. His father Frank owns a lumberyard, and after a day of selling boards, Frank drifts into the barn behind the old farmhouse to work on motors and count coins he keeps in coffee cans. Paulís mother Martha, her years as the high school prom queen all but forgotten, manages the household and keeps the familyís reputation intact around town. Paulís only sibling, Sally, knows more about his young teenage life than he suspects.

Like any young boy, Paul has heroes, among them Harmon Killebrew and Tony Oliva of the Minnesota Twins. He also finds meaning in his favorite novel, a story about a Kentucky boy caught between two loving families in the Civil War. In "The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come," the protagonist Chad represents what Paul knows of his new friend Louie. Thatís when Paul begins to see beyond the intrigue of his teenage innocence to the deeper conflicts and painful losses that adults experience. The road Paul travels with the omnipresent black Chevy leads to unforeseen consequences with family and friends.

In Summer of the Black Chevy, author Kevin S. Giles reflects on fleeting youth and circumstances that can alter a boyís life in a heartbeat. He paints an image of a small town that canít contain a young boyís wonder ó or his regret and guilt. Deer Lodge has a Main Street, and a library, and it has Toby, the man revered as the best basketball player the town ever produced. Thereís also Faye, the beckoning freckled girl from Anaconda, and Hack Face OíHanlon, the liquor-induced sawmill operator.

The reader goes on a journey with Paul Morrison, traveling into the heart of his confusion as the rebel Louie leads him even further into an exploration of life and death.


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About the Author
Kevin S. Giles Kevin S. Giles is a native of western Montana. He's been a journalist at six daily newspapers in the United States and Australia. Heís written two nonfiction books: "Jerryís Riot: The True Story of Montanaís 1959 Prison Disturbance," and "Flight of the Dove: The Story of Jeannette Rankin."



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