Run With The Horseman

by Ferrol Sams

©1982 Penguin Books, New York

Growing up in a liberal home in Los Angeles, a daughter of parents who marched for civil rights and whose attorney father worked pro bono for the downtrodden, I never really understood the mindset that is the South's. While Southerners politely complain that the rest of the U.S. doesn't understand them, quite frankly, until reading Run With The Horseman by Ferrol Sams, I couldn't figure out why anyone would even want to make the effort. If that sounds harsh, it is. And unjustifiably so, apparently.

Ferrol Sams isn't merely writing a tale of a boy growing up in the South and his rites of passage. He entertains and educates in what sounds like a suspiciously autobiographical account (although he disclaims it) of life as the son of a white landowner and the codependent relationships of those things so inherently Southern: chivalry, alcoholism, race relations,

How these things integrate into the bigger picture of life's wonders and trials and the world at large provide opportunities for belly laughs and belly aches, tears and poignancy. I've read this trilogy (the others are The Whisper of the River and When All the World Was Young) so many times that now, some of my best friends are even Southerners.

I wish I could include a few of the more humorous passages in this review, but the detailed and evocative accounts would take several pages, and to not include them in full would be cheating the reader. The delightful protagonist is not only funny and mischievous, he's so clever . . . don't miss this book!

-Galia Berry

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