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March 2005
One Vacant Chair
by Joe Coomer

Reader’s Review
by Penelope Wesley

Today, I found myself looking at chairs—the size and shape—and even questioning why they were where they were. I had not consciously done this before; nor could I not think of them today. (This may have been stated somewhere in the book, but today it was me walking into a room and surveying each chair.) This concept of chairs was all I needed to keep me reading further. I had to know the purpose of the vacant chair.

The writing is superb as the author takes the reader on a journey from Texas to Scotland, but along the way he creates vivid and unique characters. I felt I was there with them watching every move as the plot develops. By the end of the book, I felt I knew each character. I could feel their turmoil and pain, but the author creatively adds humor, balancing the mood in the story.

At the beginning, I found it difficult knowing the narrator was the opposite sex as the author. I was amazed at how Joe Coomer could do this. It is a learning experience for every writer and a captivating read for all.

There were times I had to stop and savor the words, allowing myself to visualize the images in my mind. Closing the book for the last time, I sat—unable to shake the lingering thoughts and feelings. I closed my eyes, but I could only see a chair—alone and vacant.

Penelope Wesley lives in Liberty, KY and recently joined a book club there. (One of the club’s recent selections was Silas House’s Clay’s Quilt, our August 2002 selection.) Penelope enjoys writing as well as reading and has taken creative writing courses at the University of Kentucky. She is pursuing a career in nursing.

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