Viking, Jul 2002, 24.95, 320 pp.
In 1801 in the District of Maine of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, recently widowed Rosemund Loon sends her teenage son Peter to find an uncle he has never met. Peter has never left his home in Sheepscott Great Pond so with trepidation and anticipation, the teenage begins a trek to locate Obed Winslow, not realizing that the target of his quest is not blood, but the suitor his mother did not marry.
The journey proves dangerous and distracting as seventeen year old Peter meets various people. He encounters females that divert his attention from his goal and learns that though the American Revolution ended two decades ago, many of the farmers wonder why they revolted as the wealth remains with the privileged few in Boston and New York. Peter is discovering a vast world made up of different people in his quest through New England.
No one does the late eighteenth country early nineteenth century like Van Reid does. His latest tale, PETER LOON, brings to life a side of America rarely found in the textbooks as the author vividly describes people not harmoniously monolithic in support of the Founding Fathers. The story line is loaded with vivid descriptions and plenty of action with Peter obviously the focus, but also contains too many subplots as if Mr. Reid wanted to get as many of his thoughts into the novel as he could. Still, Mr. Reid's coming of age Americana historical tale remains top notch and worth reading just as the author's Moosepath Adventures prove he is the fictional chronicler of the early years of the United States.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner