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Book Review: Wapsipinicon Summer

Wapsipinicon Summer was written by Jay Soupene and published in 2021. You can purchase it on Amazon/Kindle and you can visit the author on social media and on Amazon.

Hatred and love collide in this love story between Billy and Anna and the people of Anamosa, Iowa are changed forever.

Andy Crawford returns to his hometown of Anamosa, Iowa after learning of the death of his dad and it's then and there that his memories of the summer of 1966 consume him. With visions of fishing with his uncle on the river, to times spent with his father, he sees things a little differently than he did as a child and he comes to grips with how the Viet Nam War changed his life and how it impacted the people in his hometown and in America as a whole. Billy West, a well-known and admired high school athlete and graduate, returns to Anamosa after a tour in Viet Nam. Suffering from PTSD, he has changed, and he struggles to regain the normalcy of small-town life as well as pursuing the love of his life, Anna. While trying his best to regain the life he remembers, there are others in the community who look down on Billy and work to make his life miserable. One of those people is Joe Matsell, a bar owner, who is hell bent on taking revenge on Billy after the two had a run in with each other. Hatred and love collide in this love story between Billy and Anna and the people of Anamosa are changed forever by events that happened a world away- a war that changed and molded America.

From the first several pages, I was immediately captured by the authors ability to create these wonderful small-town characters. An example of a good, likable character development was in this scene from a church service. Made me chuckle: "Depending where one sat in the pews, they might catch the snoring rhythm from Sheriff Jim Barton and Old Man Gelkie. These two men sat on opposite ends of the congregation, one on the front left, the other on the back right. But they were like dueling banjoes, tossing notes back in forth in a vicious tennis match of snores."

Billy West recounts the experiences that he had in Viet Nam, and you could feel the emotion from the words on the page- and I rooted for him throughout the story, and I never lost sight of how these people and circumstances changed Andy- from a boy to a man.

The narrative between Billy and Anna and their love for each other was a bit redundant at times but this author has most of the literary tools to become a future best-selling author. No doubt about that. Wapsipinicon Summer; I loved it!

I give Wapsipinicon Summer 4 out of 5 stars.

Jay Soupene is a scheduled guest on The Writers Lounge Blog Talk Radio Show #110 on March 7, 2022

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