John R. Day, Jr.
Cowhead Publishing (2016)
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (01/17)
“Man on the Fence” is the debut novel by John R. Day, Jr. It is the story of Tate Daniels, his cousin Garrett, and a group of friends who grew up together in a small town, regaling all the trials and tribulations along their journey to becoming men, entering adulthood, and having families of their own.
Tate was content with his life. All he ever wanted was to play ball for the Detroit Tigers, run his family farm, and settle down with his dream girl. As it often does, fate had its’ own plans for Tate’s life and things don’t turn out quite the way he planned. When Tate ends up with a bullet in his chest, he wonders if the way his life turned out had more to do with some of the decisions he made along the way, than fate alone.
I really enjoyed “Man on the Fence.” It is a very well written novel, reflecting a distinct tone and unique storytelling approach. I have to say I was surprised to learn this is Day’s first novel. The characters are real and relatable, full of personality, and well developed. By the end of the book, readers will feel like they grew up alongside the entire crew and that they know each character personally. The quick-witted exchanges between the characters are unforgettable– sometimes lacking tact, often crass, and always hilarious – loved the delivery and humor. And, as entertaining as the story was, I also found it to be informative, current, and relevant in today’s world, full of real-life experiences that will connect with a large audience.
Overall, I highly recommend “Man on the Fence” by John R. Day, Jr. for an entertaining enjoyable read. I’m looking forward to the sequel!