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The Trestle: A Shakertown Suspense Adventure (A Shakertown Adventure) Kindle Edition
|Length: 60 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||Age Level: 10 - 16||Grade Level: 6 - 10|
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Top Customer Reviews
The trestle bridge was very high and at one point after its construction, the author tells us that it was the highest trestle bridge in the world, with trains passing over it in north-south directions. No railings were on the sides and people had died going out on this bridge that crossed over the Kentucky River. Tom and Will, the two cousins, lived not far from the bridge, and Tom was afraid of heights and Will was afraid of the trains on the bridge that was so high above the ground, especially if the trains were ones not on the schedule.
What Tom does with Will right behind him is so nerve-wracking and keeps the reader on the edge of his/her seat until the situation is resolved. I was interested right from the very beginning and the tension didn't let up until the end of the story.
Ben Woodward has written an excellent story of two boys coming of age and of purging the past of one of them. It is well-written and as a Young Adult short story, it should definitely keep the attention of the younger ages. It certainly kept mine.
I was so intrigued by this story and by the historical bridge that I did a little research on it and found a page of postcards of High Bridge, which is a tourist attraction today and as the author tells at the end, is still in use. This is a great story for kids and adults, too, and I highly recommend it as an entertaining story and also one that has real history as its foundation.
But, like the clever mechanism of denial itself, you don't completely understand where Woodard is leading with this story, or why. Until almost the very end, I thought I was simply reading a tightly-wound and almost painfully riveting adventure tale about two adolescent boys, all hopped up on the adrenaline of unnervingly senseless risks, and set against a beautifully smudged backdrop of rural mid-America -- Mark Twain, if you will, with a sharp swerve into thriller territory.
And that's where Woodard masterfully departs from the expected coming-of-age formula, and instead layers in difficult insights that make the story relatable to anyone who has witnessed, or survived, real tragedy.
Not content to leave the boys' death-tempting hijinks atop a suspended railroad crossing unexamined, Woodard instead drops suddenly into the roiling human psyche, where motivations and experiences combust and burn inside, and eventually drive all those mystifying surface choices and behaviors - even the terrifying and risky ones that otherwise seem impossible to understand, survive, or explain.
I'm looking forward to reading more from Ben Woodard - his writing is visual and compelling, and this story is certain to cling to readers like an enveloping Kentucky nightfall.
I have always loved books with suspense, mystery, hold you to the edge of your seat, make your heart race wondering what is going to happen, are they going to make it, what is around the next corner, turn of the page. I love a book that has you riding high then brings you down so you can catch your breath just to get ready for the next heart beating rush. The Trestle has all of that making it a really great short story.
Tom and Will are cousins, they live near what was once know as the worlds highest train bridge, many died trying to cross those tracks, many took their own lives from those very tracks. Will and Tom didn't come from much, for Tom had lost both his parents and shared a room with his cousin Will now. Deep down Tom had personal battles of his own and fears he needed or wanted to over come. One of them a fear of heights.
So one night the boys steal away and head to the single train track that stretches into the darkness high above a river. No railings on either side, nothing to grab onto if one should slip, trains that come on a regular basis leaving a person only two options make it across before the train or pray you can get to the catwalk below without falling to your death or being hit by the train.
Will tells Tom exactly what he needs to do to beat his fear, and with flashlights in hand they begin their journey out onto the train tracks. Tom is terrified but he is moving, he is making it, the darkness below is so deep he can't see which adds to his nervousness. But suddenly, there it is, the rumble in the tracks, the light growing larger, and just a few split seconds to make the decision. And it is a very last minute decision made by Tom.
As the train passes Will suggests they head back but Tom has other ideas and continues on making it. Excited he has beaten that part of his fear he heads back and then it happens, a train out of know where, squealing breaks, darkness.....
I wont tell you how it ends that would ruin it for you. There is so much more to this book than what I have written here. There is so much more to this story shared within the 125 pages. Lessons learned by Tom on this perilous journey are great making this an excellent book.
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