WILLEM’S FIELD by Melinda Haynes, 2003. Haynes also wrote MOTHER OF PEARL does her name sounds familiar? This hardcover book has sat in my kitchen since June when I went to that huge library book sale. I kept pushing it aside. due to the first few pages I read, but I decided to read more last night and this morning. It is very quirky I admit and I love a quirky story.
WILLEM’S FIELD is the story of an old man named Willem Fremont, and is set in the 1970’s. Willem has been living with a panic disorder most of his life, which causes embarrassing scenes when he’s in a public place. It almost seems like he has Turrets Syndrome to me, yet not exactly, when he has verbal outbursts. Now that Willem is a much older man he wants to go back home to Purvis. Mississippi and find out how it started and how to cure it. Once in Purvis Willem meets the Till family who now owns his family farm. The Tills have their own problems, tiny Eileen Till runs the farm and her two grown sons are lazy. Sonny is perennially unemployed and is building a shrimp boat in his mother’s landlocked back yard. Bruno has returned home from the Vietnam war with a spinal injury, and wears a back brace while he escapes into the National Geographic magazines, while his wife Leah tries to cope while her marriage fails by finding comfort in the day to day life on the farm.
Here’s the teaser:
Willem relaxed a little, and his hand slid off the newspaper.
“My God, is that you?”
Willem saw where she was looking. The folded newspaper. IN a glance he saw the words EL PASO COUNTY peeping out underneath his thumb. Today officials at the Colorado Springs Police Department issued a missing-person report for William Frem was covered by his palm. Too bad his hand wasn’t big enough to cover his picture.
“Is that you in the paper?”
He looked up at her and saw open curiosity that lacked the intellect go much deeper.
NOTE: I’m really enjoying this book even though I put if off for so long thinking I wouldn’t! It’s introduced the family who lives in Willem’s old family homestead, and the broken family who lives in the Inn where Willem is staying, and other characters.