book cover of The Cherry Pickers

The Cherry Pickers

(2017)
A novel by

 
 
Gregory C. Randall weaves a tale of secrets in northern Michigan during that hot and stormy summer of 1956. With the constant fear of nuclear war, an exploding Middle East, and memories of World War II still fresh with flowers on soldier's graves; a young man realizes that he is growing up. In Howie Smith's world of primal forests, orderly orchards, and Lake Michigan; he learns about life and begins to understand death. A crazy aunt, a dying uncle, and the unyielding pressure to bring in the demanding crop of cherries, forces Howie to realize there is more to life than baseball.

Randall unveils, during this brief summer, a family's fears and triumphs. He explores a region of America left apart from the chaos of the world. It is a place of unwanted migrant pickers, backwoods people who must live off the land, and the grand lake that encloses them all. But Howie discovers it is also a realm of miracles.

This is a story of family, love, confusion, loss, death, and dying. It is of migrant workers, survivors of the war, two brothers, the coming of age, and the changing the times of society. It is int he tradition of Kristin Hannah, William Kent Krueger, and Nicholas Sparks. It is a story to savor and enjoy. Let it take you back to a time of great change in America and a part of the world that fought it. The world of Howie Smith is in Chicago and the forest of Michigan. It is the bond he shares with his family, the orderly world of the cherry orchard, and the rough dark of the pine forest.

The Story:
Formed from small corals and animals a half billion years ago; compressed and metamorphosed into inflexible stone; its patterns of life held in eternal suspension; crushed by roiling seas and countless glaciers; foundered in the sand on a sallow beach; to be rescued by an old woman, given to a fledgling at the start of a fleeting summer when green cherries turned red, boys became men, lost souls died, and for a very, very brief second of the primordial stone's life, the leaden, time-encapsulating Petoskey stone conned its holder into believing it held miracles in its hard heart.
Boys to men, stones to gravel, life to death, it was the time when waves of change pushed a simple family forward, to hold each one for a moment, then release them to the next swell. What to hold onto, what raft, what drifting piece of debris keeps them afloat? They flounder, but never climb on each other's shoulders to gasp, one last time. They release themselves to time and the seasons. These govern all: time holds the parts of their lives together; the seasons are the whipmasters of their art.
A boy, a summer, lives gained and lost. All governed by tart red rubies and uncontrollable electric storms. The struggle between the real and the loved is contested; change, as all changes are, is fought; there is no winner. Yet again, time drags them to its bosom, and they're left to breathe heavily of its promise. There is a difference between the civil and the wild; one tries to own time. The other - with arms thrown high - gives of itself lovingly.

Genre: Literary Fiction

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Used availability for Gregory C Randall's The Cherry Pickers

Paperback Editions

February 2017 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Cherry Pickers
Author(s): Gregory C Randall
ISBN: 0-9987083-0-5 / 978-0-9987083-0-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Windsor Hill Publishing
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Kindle Editions

August 2017 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Cherry Pickers: A Novel
Author(s): Gregory C Randall
Publisher: Windsor Hill Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA