Former economist John Standingford, author of the Eeks Trilogy and HM4MEN, demonstrates his competence as a multifarious writer with his latest book, Bobby Shafter.
After a long-standing and accomplished career around the world in economics, Standingford’s latest book is best described as an amusing romance. The book cover, the succinctness of paragraphs and chapters, and the large use of dialogue all give the feel of the book being perfect only for teenagers and pleasure readers. It doesn’t draw you in immediately. Once you have read past the first few chapters though, it is impossible to put the book down.
When the two main characters, Bobby and Elizabeth, first meet on the train there is an immediate reciprocal need for each other and it is through this interdependency that the pair forges a relationship. Bobby is brawn and street smart. Elizabeth is brains and book smart. Both are seeking a standing in their new country town.
As each seeks their town position, their social class, strengths, foibles and imperfections are authenticated in a most interesting and humorous way. Although the book is about Bobby, it is just as much about Elizabeth. Their cocoon and need for each other begin to dissolve as time goes on.
The arrival of an unexpected visitor and a subsequent return to their home town force both to reconnect with their past and as such, decide where they truly want to be and who they truly are.
It is hard to believe how diverse and different Standingford’s books are. One thing is for sure: Bobby Shafter is a great read for those days when you want to enjoy a book and not have to think or remember too much about the characters or the plot. It is a lovely, carefree book perfect to read on holiday or in a hammock on a summer’s day.
Reviewed by Rebecca Wu
Rating out of 10: 9
Distributed by: Elephant House Press
Released: August 2018
Disclaimer: Elephant House Press was co-founded by Elizabeth Calder who is a contributor to Glam Adelaide.