Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Goodbye, Rudy Kazoody by A.A. Freda

Goodbye, Rudy Kazoody
by A.A. Freda

My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Publisher: FriesenPress; 1 edition (September 20, 2016)
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Genre: Literary Fiction | Coming of Age
Print Length: 317 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Who is the mysterious Rudy Kazoody, and what, if anything, did he have to do with the events that occurred to a group of teenagers during one fateful summer in New York City's Bronx neighborhood in the early 1960s?

Growing up is difficult enough. But when you're a recent immigrant arriving in a country that is going through its own coming-of-age process, fueled by rock 'n' roll, the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, free love, the pill, LSD, and the Cold War, it's downright confusing, and for some--lethal.

With the various upheavals shaking America to its core, Joey, whose family emigrated to the Bronx from Italy's Apennine Mountains, struggles to retain his innocent, optimistic outlook on life as he and the other young teenagers on Arthur Avenue--virtually all of whom also come from immigrant, working-class families--try to find their place in this new order.

From the euphoria of first love to the despair of dashed dreams and betrayal, Joey emerges from the summer sadder but wiser in this romantic, mysterious, and nostalgic tale. Behind it all lurks the mysterious Rudy Kazoody, an enigma that Joey feels he must solve or else remain forever just outside the inner circle of life and love.

Goodbye, Rudy Kazoody by A.A. Freda

Goodbye, Rudy KazoodyFollow Joey’s formative years as an Italian-American immigrant growing up during a time of American social turmoil and consciousness in the tumultuous 60’s in the Bronx. Part of the Arthur Avenue gang, these young people all fail from the same socio-economic backgrounds and immigrant status.

He came to America filled with a sweet innocence and dreams of a land of plenty. What he finds is a hard-scrabble world where family and neighborhood loyalty are everything and being the cousin of the most respected kid on the block is both a bonus and a curse. Nicknamed Priest, for his naiveté and positive outlook that he struggles to maintain, Joey sees the world from both sides of the street, as he worships the ground his cousin Spike walks on.

Quite often the actions, words and deeds of Spike drive this tale as he seems to charm all around him on one hand while creating haters on the other. Meanwhile, there are the firsts experienced by teens, from love to sexual attraction and those immature comments as they realize that girls really are built differently.

This is the story of uncharted territory, following the crowd and finding the fortitude to carve one’s own path as these teens enter pre-adulthood. Who will rise from neighborhood unscathed, who will fall to its allure and fail to fly? Who will find that the Bronx is the end of their journey?

Told from Joey’s point of view, we see the world through his young eyes, feel his confusion, fear, and hear honest inner declarations. We will journey with him as he attempts to learn who Rudy Kazoody is and what part he plays in all of their lives.

A.A. Freda fills GOODBYE RUDY KAZOODY with a life of its own through these teens as their story becomes a saga of growing pains, young love and coming of age. An engaging read with moments of laughter, tears and the trials of youth. A wonderful read written from the heart by a very talented author!!

I received this copy from A.A. Freda in exchange for my honest review.

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