Grandparents are fundamental in the life of a niece or nephew. They can help, they can teach, they play a complete different role respect to the ones of their parents.
I was attracted by My Summer with Gramps written by Ignatius Ryan and published by Createspace on November 2014 because I knew that it would have been impressive.
I also experienced long chats with elderly and acculturate people when I was little and in my teenage age so I knew for sure how interesting this book could have been.
Good Lord, it is more than what I expected and I thank the author for it because this book is incredibly interesting and able to open the mind in many directions.
I am italian but always curious about American History and the mechanism of the government and I learnt a lot reading this book.
It is a "revolutionary" book in a way, and I appreciate the wild polemic wind expressed by Ignatius Ryan.
Culture is important and it will always be important to read adds gramps many times to his nephew.
The gramps of this kid was an important salesman and at the moment lives like a hermit.
This kid has some problems at home during that summer.
His dad and his mom discuss too frequently for economical problems and he finds some hours of mental relaxation stopping by at the house of his gramps.
He should read a book during the vacation written by Arthur Miller: Death of Salesman but he finds more interesting to chat with his gramps although sometimes he can't understand all the concepts expressed by the man. But as we all know, brain assimilates informations and also the ones not yet completely understood will return on surface, later.
Sure of it!
His gramps will tell him all the possible facts of life, culture, American facts, history, sociology, religion, policy, women, foreign countries....
It will be a trip based mainly on the American economical system, wars, unemployment, life expectations, crisis, wars, poverty, injustices...
What it is impressive is the big friendship between these two men, one old and another one still a kid. Suggestive.
Gramps starts always their conversation, everyday when the kid stops by at his house with his bicycle with a researched word that surely the kid doesn't know the meaning of.
Gramps knows which will be the next question from the kid: "What that word mean?"
To him the opportunity for starting a long long long conversation about, for example the assassination of Kennedy, and the conspiracy theory, most probable one although for example in schools teachers love to tell Kennedy was killed just by Lee Oswald. Official theory.
Or, one day gramps will tell him how the American economical system work and the taxation, pretty depressing and what to expect once he will afford to college, a story of debts probably eeeekkkk...
Credit cards and how the society changed sometimes for bad because of this system of payment.
Another time gramps will speak of corporations, lack of work in the internal territory of the USA, Detroit, for example a city with more than a million of people now with less than 700.000 people.
Then, religions. What a religion can teach? Perplexities. What we can wait from a religion and why they are important in our society. Buddhism.
American History. From slavery to the first Boston Tea Party, and then the Boston Massacre, the Southerner slavery passing through a history about slavery from Romans to other old populations. The end of it, but still the discrimination against black people in a society, the American one that would want to be good for everyone.
Then the American Constitution, the meaning of it. Reflections.
America and foreign countries....
There is all you want to know, and much much more.
It's an impressive book and more and more than what I would have expected, but it is exactly what an acculturate man would have told to his nephew.
Perfect for your children. It's plenty of culture this book so buy it to your son or daughter with great confidence. It will be a very appreciated book and they will have many more questions for you, so be prepared to it!
Every kid will want to have close to them for a summer-time this maybe sometimes weird gramps who is uninterested to speak of common themes but that can opens the mind of a kid for his future speaking of big themes.
I also loved the end of this tale. Truly lovely! But you know: I love happy ending!
I needed this happy end!
Many thanks to Netgalley for this book!
Anna Maria Polidori