Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thankksgiving at the Inn

by Tim Whitney

Ever since his mother left, life hasn't been easy for Heath Wellington III.  Between his father's bouts with alcoholism and literary rejection, and Heath's own wrongful suspension from school, there hasn't been all that much to be thankful for.

This is a heartwarming story of love and forgiveness, but there's another message in this little gem - people need friends.  We learn somethings from members of our family, but it's often 'outsiders' that teach us how to live and love our family. 

When Heath's grandfather dies and leaves his fortune to he and his dad, he added one catch - They needed to manage the Thanksgiving Inn.  This is not a elegant B&B even though it's billed as a bed-and-breakfast is more like a rundown apartment building for four some of the strangest people Heath has ever met, such as
  • Winsted, the old, wise Jamaican man who used to lead the prayers in Senior’s factory;
  • Mrs. Farrel, an elderly woman giving away her late husband’s fortune letter by letter;
  • Mustang Sally, the muscle-bound, tattooed grease monkey who doubles as a children’s author;
  • Carter, the silent TV news junkie and secret Harvard graduate. 
The characters, especially Winsted, wormed their waysright  into my heart.  I liked the way Winsted would allow Heath to learn and grow from his own mistakes and life experiences rather than preaching what he could do or should do.  There is also the young autistic girl who lives close by who makes an impact on Heath.

Thanksgiving at the Inn is told from Heath's perspective and is therefore a great book for middle school and older readers who will be able to identify with some of the turmoil in Heath's life.  It's also a perfect read for all the rest of because it teaches us the need to forgive and grow beyond past patterns in our lives and past disappointments.  We can also learn about expectations. 

I can see this becoming a favorite book for young people to read over and over again.


Marie Cloutier said...

sounds very sweet! :-)

Hazra said...

Sounds like a nice coming-of-age story.

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

I have this one in my stack. I need to get to it. It sounds really good.

Zibilee said...

This sounds like a great book for my kids. I like that it has such unique characters and that it teaches the importance of friendship. I'll be looking out for it. Thanks for the great review!