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The Rooming House Gallery

  • Fri, October 23, 2020 9:28 AM
    Message # 9321646

    The Rooming House Gallery: Connecting the Dots, by Bill Mathis

    Literary Fiction, 260 pp

    May, 2020, Rogue Phoenix Press

    Reviewed by Lisa Lickel, www.lisalickel.com

    History and contemporary life duke it out in a quest for acknowledgment in this edition of the Rooming House saga. A building with a previous life is bequeathed to a young couple, one wanting home and family, one wanting space and community action. They learn their roots go deep and twine through the building’s very foundation, and their current relationship may have sprung from history itself as they unravel personal stories from the ledgers and diaries left in the building.

    At heart is the author’s passion for family, something that resonates with me. When two people try to form a more perfect union, no matter who, what, when, and where they are, reality often exposes scars and warts and everyone’s personal level of depravity. It’s the committed soul who can share the healing process. Andres and Josh may look and act like opposites, but their mutual affection and determination to give and take are an example for all couples. Each has a desire to learn from the past and grow forward, while serving the greater community. They’ve been together ten years, but how well do they know each other, truly, and the direction to the next level of their union are questions explored in this richly nuanced, very human story.

    Told from a large perspective, occasionally shifting among family and community members, the reader is drawn into the secrets and revelations of the evolving American culture. I also had to look up a tamale recipe. While bedroom scenes are under covers, so to speak, parents of potential readers under 16 might want to vet the book first.

    Reviewer Lisa Lickel writes from the peaceful rolling hills of western Wisconsin. A multi-published, best-selling and award-winning novelist, she also writes short stories and radio theater, occasional articles, is an avid book reviewer, blogger, and a freelance editor. She and her husband travel and enjoy family time.

    Last modified: Fri, October 23, 2020 1:55 PM | Lisa Lickel

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