When you swing, swing hard. When you close your fists, make sure to clench them tight, tight, tight. When you step, step hard and leave a deep boot print….When you clock in, work until the clock says ‘time to go home’. …When you imagine love, imagine your palms touching cream-white skin and conjure some kind eyes and soft lips. When you swing, swing hard. – Redbone by Matt Philips.
There is just so much to like about Redbone by Matt Philips, which is a great read from beginning to end. The thing that I liked most about this book is that while the main character Calvin is pushed too far and he snaps, he does it for reasons of moralistic integrity. He does it for friendship, for honor, for his hometown, and most importantly, he does it because he truly feels a man needs to stand up for something and someone. In many ways Calvin is painted as a hero and an anti-hero in the same paragraphs. While that statement might seem contradictory, Philips’ writing is so multi-layered and deep it fills his characters with a realness that is usually lacking in novels.
Calvin is a character that will have you sympathizing for him and his plight. What seemed like it was going to be a “man goes crazy” plot became so much more as we learn more about Calvin. This book left me with a sense that Philips will be an author to watch out for. While his writing style was perfect for this book, there is an underlying sense that he will be getting better and better as time goes on, and I for one will be marveling at all the books he comes out with in the future.