Feature Article By Deanna Boe

Three Books by Terry Kay


The King Who Made Paper FlowersI have fallen in love with the writing of Terry Kay. His books are so unusual! Each one doesn’t begin to compare to a previous one. As usual, I discovered this author by accident and I am so happy I did. The first one I read and reviewed was: “The King Who Made Paper Flowers.” I knew I had to read more of his novels and have not been disappointed. So what if one has to go back a few years to read books that are no longer on the “Best Seller” list.



To Dance With the White DogFor instance, the first of the three I am going to review was written in 1990. I was living in Korea at that time and so missed when it came out and the movie that was made from it. It is a little “gem,” especially since I am now of the age (or close to it) of the main character in the book. It is easy to identify with all that is portrayed in “To Dance With the White Dog.” The main character is Sam Peek. His wife of 57 years has just passed away. Now what? His children are worried as to what will happen to him living alone on his farm, even though two daughters live close enough they can see each other’s lights turn on in their houses in the early mornings. Just how will he survive? They become extremely worried when Sam begins to talk to them about a white dog that has suddenly appeared on his farm that no one else can see. Has he totally “lost it?” This is a book that we can all identify with, either because we have gotten older or have parents who have. I dare you to read it and not have misty eyes at the end.

Bogmeadow's WishThe second book, “Bogmeadow’s Wish” (2011) by Terry Kay somewhat ties with the above one simply because it also involves death and the effect it has on family members. In this case it is a grandson, who happens to most resemble and identify with the grandfather. Even though the grandfather had never returned to Ireland, he wants his ashes distributed or “blowing in the wind” in Ireland; he requested that his grandson, Coghan, do it. Why? It seems a strange request considering he had not once returned to the land of his birth. One especially had to wonder about this since the grandfather had entertained friends and relatives all of his life with stories and tall tales about Ireland, a land he obviously loved.

After EliThe third book, “After Eli,” was written in 2012. This one is entirely different from the above two since it involves murder. A wandering actor stumbles upon a young couple living outside their small community who are kind enough to give him shelter for the evening. While talking with them he discovers that according to a rumor there is a fortune of stolen money hidden somewhere in the farm nearby. The man who supposedly stole it disappeared leaving behind his wife, her sister, and his daughter living all alone. This was enough for the actor to murder this young couple, disappear for a few months, and then return to “worm his way” into the company of these three ladies. Naturally we know his goal is the money. Will he succeed? It does have a surprise and clever ending.

All four of the books that I have read by Terry Kay are entirely different. The only connections are the Irish characters and stories; obviously Terry Kay is Irish. Anyway, I am looking forward to reading more of his delightful books.


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