Author and retired English professor William A. Francis draws from personal experiences to pen his new coming-of-age novel, “Lucky Jack!” (published by iUniverse).
When Clark Warren, a retired cleric, looks back on his childhood, he recalls the year 1953 most vividly. He and his best friend Jack had many wonderful adventures together that summer, but as school begins again, something sinister emerges.
When a polio epidemic strikes the city that fall, Big Hank, a tough, solemn kid, falls victim to the disease and is unable to return to school. Jack wants to do something nice for him. As Christmas draws closer, Jack comes up with the perfect gift for Big Hank to help him recover.
“‘Lucky Jack!’ could be thought of as a story of transition, a rite of passage, which today’s readers might well enjoy seeing again through fiction,” says Francis. “Today’s readers will discover themselves through the nostalgic reflections of the narrator, a now retired cleric.”
An excerpt from “Lucky Jack!”:
“Abby raised her left hand as though she were holding an umbrella. "Second line," she called. Jane and Becky joined her, and in a few seconds the girls were dancing joyfully, twisting and turning, raising and lowering their umbrellas. They tipped imaginary hats to the left and right. Jack raised his imaginary umbrella, too, twirling with it, tipping his top hat to imaginary strollers, and waltzed his way solemnly toward the waiting girls to join in their merriment on a Saturday sidewalk in Shadyside.”