“Bascomville: A Story of Love,”
by Mark A. Calde
Publisher: Tuscany Arts and Entertainment, Inc.;
August 11, 2016
Synopsis: Welcome to Bascomville, the singular domain of Max Bascom, the universe he has spun for himself from the raw materials of his surroundings. This is Max’s journey from friend to lover. From seducer to seduced. From firstborn to prodigal. From betrayer to betrayed. And finally, from child to man. This is Bascomville. It’s where we live…
Review: There are no words to describe how honored I am to have received a copy of “Bascomville” by author Mark A. Calde. Not an author I was familiar with prior to reading this novel, I am in awe over the beautiful writing and depth of this novel. “Bascomville” tells the story of Max Bascom, his family and the girl next door, Janice. Max and Janice grow up together living as next door neighbors, but love each other from the time they were probably too young to honestly understand the meaning of loving another person. Things in Max’s home and his life, which he refers to as Bascomville, are not exactly horrible, but not exactly normal and happy. The title encompasses Max’s immediate world of ups and downs within his family and everything that makes them who they are.
Max is the narrator of the novel and is a wonderfully complex character. Max is very smart and does well in school, however, his main concerns are Janice, his sister Lily and keeping things running smoothly at home. Max’s mom is a troubled soul which I initially likened to Bipolar Disorder/Manic Depression. She functions o.k. for a few weeks, then retreats into a quiet depression, and finishing it off in a flashy/silky kimono with her hair all crazy and wearing tons of makeup. It appears as if Max’s parents haven’t really dealt with her issues, but I can’t say much about that or I would be giving spoilers. Initially, Lily and her mother are extremely close but after a tragic accident, Lily feels blamed and pushed away. Max tries to keep the peace and keep the others happy, but he does occasionally blow up out of frustration with their lives.
The novel follows Max, his family, Janice, and Janice’s family from the time Max and Janice are 12 years old through their junior year in college. Max and Janice encounter their own obstacles, just as Max does with his family, but there is always a tremendous love and dependence on one another. They both do things to hurt the other yet they are always there for each other knowing just what to do when the other needs them. There are several tear-provoking moments in this novel, especially towards the end, but the beauty of the novel in its entirety is more prominent than the tragic moments. As Max would say, it’s Bascomville and that’s how things go.
Anyone that has ever lived with someone with recurring depressive and manic episodes will certainly identify with “Bascomville,” as well as, the family’s reactions to the mother’s behavior. Calde brilliantly illustrates the intricate dance a family does around mental issues with a family member, as well as, the impact on the children in the household. Max is a fabulous character and narrator giving such detailed insight into his world and what that means to him. I wanted a better ending for Max, but after sleeping on it, I realized that Max will be o.k. and that nothing could impact his love for Janice.
I must say again how beautifully this novel is written as if Calde sat and pondered every single word before writing it. It’s by no means difficult to read, but the language, descriptions, and emotions that it evokes are not from a casual, light-hearted author. “Bascomville” is an amazing piece of literary fiction and romance and I highly recommend this to any of my readers.
Learn more about Mark A. Calde by visiting his web page.
Purchase “Bascomville” on Amazon. Buy it, you will love it! 🙂
*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the gracious author in exchange for an honest review.