BR: Dear Hank Williams

Bookcover Dear Hank
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From Goodread: It's 1948 in Rippling Creek, Louisiana, and Tate P. Ellerbee's new teacher has just given her class an assignment--learning the art of letter-writing. Luckily, Tate has the perfect pen pal in mind: Hank Williams, a country music singer whose star has just begun to rise. Tate and her great-aunt and -uncle listen to him on the radio every Saturday night, and Tate just knows that she and Hank are kindred spirits. Told entirely…

I finished this book about a week ago. I just didn’t have the time to write my thoughts on it. I am a fan of ‘letter writing’ or ‘journaling’ story telling. Not surprising that one of my all time favorite books “daddy long legs” by Jean Webster. You kind of get into the head of the characters and it can make them seem much more real.

It took me a few hours to go through this book. I love reading stories from the perspective of a child. Innocent ,funny and refreshing. The story is based in the late 1940 post II world war period and the story was told through letters sent by an 11 year old girl named Tate P. Ellerbee to her idol, Hank Williams. I have to confess that every time she mentioned a song, I had to look it up and listen to them while reading the book. It was well written that I could imagine rather vividly how it was to live as a child in the 40s. How much more simple and complicated it was at the same time. Now when I wanted to listen to a song I could just google it or look it up on ‘spotify’ or ‘Tidal’ and chances are I would find them there. But for a child in the 40s who wanted to listen to songs of their favourite singers, they would have to make time to tune it to the radio at certain time of the day with the entire family. If you missed it, you miss it. You just have to wait for the next day or week for the program to come up again on the radio. I suppose something that we modern people would not have to go through – everything is instant gratification these days.

Anyway, it all started when her teacher decided that they should all start writing to penpals. And Tate, after listening to Hank Williams for the first time on the radio, had a good idea of who her penpal should be – which is Hank Williams himself,ย  and nothing her teacher told her could convince her otherwise. From then on she started to relate the daily going ons in her life religiously through letters – without getting a reply of course other than the occasional autographed photos.

As I mentioned earlier, the letters were well written, peppered with childish humor,ย  and curiosity. It is a story about love, family and grief. I conveyed in the end of how a grieving child might see the world. It reminded me that nobody is safe from the harsh reality of living. Not even a child. But love and hope conquers all and makes it easier what ever hardships life throws at us.

With this I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it for sure.

Author: Syari

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