|About the Book|
In Tears of the Phoenix, author Lonnie Beerman delves into complex human relationships by chronicling the adventures, heartbreaks and triumphs of three young boys and their families in a small southern town during the socially tumultuous 1960s.AtMoreIn Tears of the Phoenix, author Lonnie Beerman delves into complex human relationships by chronicling the adventures, heartbreaks and triumphs of three young boys and their families in a small southern town during the socially tumultuous 1960s.At a time when America was blundering through fundamental social changes and redefining itself, three boys from varying backgrounds find friendship. Frankie, a lonely, somewhat reclusive ten year old- Aubrey, a gentle country boy and Tony, a Yankee transplant to the deep south come together to rise above the small town attitudes and bigotries.Cast out and ridiculed by the other kids in school, they were accustomed to watching from the shadows as the kids who didnt pick them played kickball or dodge ball.Then one day, they are suddenly brought together by fate as Aubrey defended Tony against the school bullies, leading them to discover a friendship none of them had ever thought possible.A bond quickly forms between them, freeing them from the lonely desperation of being unpopular at an age when being popular means everything.Their friendship liberates three sequestered souls, giving them the strength to deal with their family situations and the tribulations that come their way. Particularly central to their hopes and frustrations are their relationships with their fathers.Frankies father was killed in Vietnam when he was a toddler, leaving him fatherless and confused, as well as making him an outcast among the other normal kids who have fathers. His world is shattered when his mother is diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. To literally add insult to injury, a hateful comment at school reveals his beloved uncles homosexuality.Aubrey suffers at the hands of his violent father, as does his mother and brother, but maintains a natural serenity despite his ordeal. He finds refuge in an innocent spirituality far beyond his young years and offers a point of view that amazes his friends, family and even his minister. But then his life is changed forever when his fathers rage boils over, resulting in a death in his family.Tony is frustrated that his corporate-minded father seems complacent to him, feeling that maybe if he wasnt such a runt, his father might do more things with him. Then by chance, his father discovers just how absent he has been from his sons life and vows to change it.Each boys self-esteem blossoms under the spring sun of camaraderie as they become inseparable, laying the foundation for lifelong friendship and finding unlikely allies in town.A happy side effect is that their mothers grow close, as well, finding unexpected companionship of their own and supporting each other through the trials that shake their families.Frankies mother agonizes over what will become of her precious son when she is gone. Making as many good memories for him as she can becomes her primary mission, with invaluable help from her brother, Frank.Aubreys mother does her best to hide the shame of her loveless and brutal life while trying desperately to mitigate the effect it has on her two sons. The boys friendship reconnects her with Frankies uncle, a boy she dated in high school.Tonys mother struggles to adjust from the anonymous hustle and bustle of city life up north to the all too personal quiet life in the tiny southern town her husband was transferred to.And last, but certainly not least, Frankies uncle must come to terms with his homosexuality, once and for all. Is it a lie or not. Can seeing his old high school girlfriend help him decide?Laugh and cry with the boys as they navigate the treacherous currents of life, from triumph to tragedy and back again. Feel the love and the agony of the best and the worst life has to throw at them.