Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sarah Smiles

Free - 466 pages

It's Nineteen ninety one and eleven year old Paul and his family have just moved to the climatic sunshine paradise of Cyprus with his father's work as an army sergeant with the Royal Engineers.

On Paul's first day at school he is befriended by the dominant school bully Michael who takes young Paul under his sinister wing. Michael though only wants to hang out with Paul after school since they are neighbours and the only same age kids on their respective army estate and introduces Paul to the beautiful but wildly dangerous and adventurous world of the surrounding wasteland caves and valleys.

Things though take a turn for the worst when Michael bullies Paul into steeling some cigarettes from his dad's bar on the base and the two run off underneath a local bridge to try and smoke them. Here Michael is 'accidentally' urinated on from the top of the bridge by another young boy, Ben, who Michel and Paul chase into a local park to beat up for his prank.

Paul wants nothing to do with the savage beating, but has no choice in the matter with bully Michael over dominating him and forcing Paul to hit the boy too. The young boy though is finally saved by his older sister, Sarah, a pretty tomboy girl from Michael and Paul's class at school.

Paul is completely spellbound by Sarah and not only because of her pretty and athletic looks, but also her rough and tough no nonsense edged ways and handling of the bully Michael who, as of yet, has never been spoken to or stood up to before, the way Sarah stood up to him.

From here on in this incident sets off a series of events that brings the homely, well rounded Paul and the troubled young Sarah's worlds together and the two begin an unusual but adventurous and exciting friendship that will stay with them for the rest of their lives, as they both become a solid shoulder for each other to cry on while helping one another to confront their inner most fears and demons.

From the mystery of Sarah's Mother's sudden disappearance to the trials and tribulations of growing up on a British army base with Sarah's domestic abuse issues living in a broken home with her alcoholic father to Paul's school bullying from the borderline psychotic Michael, Summertime adventures on the gorgeous Cypriot beaches and bondoo wasteland valleys to haunted houses, dealing with growing up on the move and first teen romances. All the while dealing with that delicate yet rough transition into teenage-hood.

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