I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query for a review by email to hgunther234@hotmail.com.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Inkwater Press, Portland, Oregon
Genre: Fiction/Historical
Rating: Very Good
ISBN: 101592993451, $16.95, 228 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"For 18-year old Ben O’Neill, being cool is hard to do. Especially during the summer of 1970.

"His mother has volunteered the family to help build, as a reporter has dubbed it, ‘the last bomb shelter of the cold war.’ Gripped with a prepare-for-the-worst mentality, Joan O’Neill is a natural for this project. And during the summer of 1970, her internal alarms of impending danger are ringing. Her oldest son is fighting in Vietnam, her oldest daughter is off waging the sexual revolution, and a third is living with her communist boyfriend. Feeling helpless toward the three oldest, Joan O’Neill undertakes the bomb shelter project, hoping that involving her remaining children in a project of protection will somehow shield them from all the dangers that seem so imminent.

"But in a small town far away from any militarily strategic target, the bomb shelter becomes an object of derision, and Ben’s hopes for a summer of romance quickly fade. This is, until Brad Richardson, the blind owner of the local movie theater, joins the bomb shelter crew. It is through Brad that Ben meets Suzanne–a girl whose beauty is matched only by her refusal to be embarrassed about working on the bomb shelter. The romance between Ben and Suzanne progresses amidst the increasingly stormy events of a town suddenly caught up in a cascade of unintended consequences.

"When their bus breaks down, a group of college students on their way to a political demonstration decide to stay and protest the bomb shelter. This siege of outside agitators turns the town into a cultural and political battleground, with the bomb shelter at ground zero. And despite all Joan O’Neill’s good intentions, disaster ensues."

Patrick Garry’s novel has captured a bit of time, the 1970s–the cold war, Vietnam, protests, sexual revolution, small town mores, young innocense, and adult promiscuity. A Bomb Shelter Romance is a simple, delightful story about a family and the unique characters who come together to finish this controversial project. The novel is well written, well edited, and Garry is an educated, consummate writer.

Delightful...truly delightful!!...and highly recommended. Kaye Trout 11/4/2008