Jason’s Journey
by Allen L. Harrell, MD
Trafford  Publishing

"We were all naked in the cold water… I wished that moment could have frozen in time and I could have remained happy for the rest of my life."

This is a thinly disguised autobiographical account of one man's journey from early adolescence to his present status as a retired pediatrician doctor who writes. It is his early experience in a boarding school for high school students who live too far from school to commute daily that opens the pages. The drama of attempted sexual abuse in the dormitory and the banding of four young newcomers to resist it forms the core of deeply held friendships that ripple like waves through subsequent years. World War Two interrupts the joy and innocence of his generation's lives even further, and soon after, the returning veterans are entering college on the G.I Bill. A long stint in medical school is interlaced with the search for romantic love. A successful career and later years finish the tale like a rapid coda.

The author has an innate sense of pacing that makes this World War Two generational biography move smoothly forward. His use of first person is seemly and his candid descriptions of human behavior sound real. A celebration of family is evident throughout, but it is his periodic revisiting the stories of his four schoolmates who enjoyed a special carefree weekend together deep in the countryside that adds a note of poignancy. The vicissitudes of time and fate affect each one of the four boys as time passes. But the image of the four of them romping naked in a lake one afternoon remains like a promise of meaning, just beyond the power of language to fully capture.

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