Friday, August 14, 2015

Moving Day by Jonathan Stone


Forty years’ accumulation of art, antiques, and family photographs are more than just objects for Stanley Peke—they are proof of a life fully lived. A life he could have easily lost long ago. When a con man steals his houseful of possessions in a sophisticated moving-day scam, Peke wanders helplessly through his empty New England home, inevitably reminded of another helpless time: decades in Peke’s past, a cold and threadbare Stanislaw Shmuel Pecoskowitz eked out a desperate existence in the war-torn Polish countryside, subsisting on scraps and dodging Nazi soldiers. Now, the seventy-two-year-old Peke—who survived, came to America, and succeeded—must summon his original grit and determination to track down the thieves, retrieve his things, and restore the life he made for himself. Peke and his wife, Rose, trace the path of the thieves’ truck across America, to the wilds of Montana, and to an ultimate, chilling confrontation with not only the thieves but also with Peke’s brutal, unresolved past.

My take: 3 looks

What a great premise! A elderly man and woman welcome movers to take a lifetime of treasures cross-country from New York to California. The movers show up a day before they thought they were expected, but chalk it up to their old age. Man and wife spend the night in their newly empty house, only to have the doorbell ring the next morning. It's the REAL movers.

The story was fast-moving and easy to read. The protagonist, Peke, has a past that has prepared him to retrieve his possessions, which is exactly what he intends to do. Despite his age, he is sharp in his mind and fast on his feet.

Surrounded by a cast of interesting characters, and equally bad villians, the only reason to give this a middle-of-the-road three looks is the writing. I found the writing to be loose and redundant. Stone seemed to make the same point over and over, and it weighed down the flow of the storytelling. It was a nice read, and had a satisfying ending, though. I will read another by this author, and do recommend it simply for the intriguing premise.

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