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General Fiction Review   


Wild Blue Yonder
By William Price Fox
Crane Hill Publishers, 2002
ISBN: 1-57587-197-1



Sixteen year old Earl Edge's mother sighs when announcing how much her son acts like his father at the same age because his dad took up reading while "serving a year and a day down the hill at the state pen for making and selling corn whiskey." Earl's antics have been largely confined to making trouble at the local high school but both the truant officers and the police are keeping an eye on him.

When Coleman Jacobi threatens to send Earl off to Hopewell Reform School because "a leopard can't change spots," Earl knows his options are limited. He chooses to lie about his age and run away from Columbia, South Carolina to join the Air Force. After all, it's 1942 and all men with mettle are serving their country.

With his mother's permission and home-made cookies, fried chicken, and deviled eggs in a shoe box, Earl leaves town with a bus load of enlisted college men in hopes of becoming a pilot.

In lesser hands, Earl Edge could have become a caricature but Fox never succumbs to sentimentality or melodrama. While Earl may be ignorant about the ways of the world and naive about human nature, once he's learned a lesson, it stays with him. Fox allows readers a fresh glimpse into the male world of military friendships creating humorous, trusting, and honest characters.

Filled with exacting revenges and good nature all around, Wild Blue Yonder, is a classic initiation story of a young man's journey away from home and family into adulthood. Earl learns the meaning of friendship, sacrifice, and following a dream.


Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

2002 Southern Scribe Reviews, All Rights Reserved