Author: Susan Bellefeuille
Publisher: Balboa Press
Type of book: Canada, 1950s-1990s, 2000s, death, family, friendship, loyalty, tough times, work, goals, marriage, dreams
Year it was published: 2017
Lucas Clarkson is a simple man, a family man, and a hard working farmer's son. From a small town in Eastern Ontario, the author, Susanne Bellefeuille, brings us on Lucas's journey through the trials and tribulations of his life. Lucas's path is not as simple as the man he's portrayed to be. From the days spent working on his dad's farm to becoming a successful mechanic, with a genuine heart and his incredible strength, Lucas faces many difficult decisions. The choices he makes may be the difference between realizing his dreams and keeping his family together. Based on true events, this is Susanne Bellefeuille's first novel
The main characters include Lucas and Isabelle, although there are secondary characters like Lucas' and Isabelle's families as well as some friends and children. Lucas is best described as someone any girl would love to get married to because he remains and continues to remain loyal to Isabelle through thick and thin times and he continues to worry and love her as well as support her. He is also very close to his family and is respectful of people's beliefs even if he may not agree with them. Isabelle is also loyal to Lucas but has her own complicated history in terms of family and she is also loyal to her family. Originally she is from France but then begins to speak English. The other family members are painted in a more positive role than negative.
Friendship and family are the most important things in life
The story is written in third person narrative from Lucas's point of view as well as other characters. For me personally the characters seemed to remain static, although in some instances they did grow as people, and I also feel that while we do get to know them, the reader doesn't see as many sides in different situations as one hopes. For example, while I admire Lucas' strength through tough times as well as his devotion to his wife, I rarely if ever see the parts that tick Lucas off. Isabelle seems to be drawn with more complexity in that we see her in good and bad times.
(From the book)
Susanne Bellefeuille is a sister, mother, grandmother, and an inspirational mentor to many people. Graduating from the Social Service Worker program at St. Lawrence College in Cornwall, Ontario, Susanne spends countless hours offering her professional aid, guidance, and most importantly, her friendship to people with intellectual disabilities.
Susanne's life changed remarkably after the realization that her her desires would require her to complete college and set a better example for her children and grandchildren. From being a high school dropout and a mother at the young age of seventeen, Susanne has journeed a considerable distance to become the successful person she is today.
Her journey is not only to write books but also to help people reach their full potential, as she truly believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to shine in life.
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There's a lot of potential in the story, it just needs to be worked on. The story is a slice of life of the man named Lucas and things he endures, but at the same time friendship and family strongly dominate and help Lucas and his family pull through. The story is not focused on history but is focused on what is going on with Lucas. What I felt could be worked on is repetition and constant remainders of the love Lucas and Isabelle had for one another, (more in told rather than shown) while I would have preferred more shown than told. Going along with that vein the story also reads a whole lot like summary rather than a fleshed out novel. Aside from those minor things, I enjoyed the book far more. I loved the themes of family and friendship, I loved Lucas as a character, especially his loyalty to Isabelle and to his family, and I also loved how their love kept going and didn't seem to diminish. Its a very sweet novel of times that were and while there are perfect moments in the book, things like death and illness also linger and make appearances.
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4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)