Grady is an orphan that has no idea of who he is or where he came from. He is also the narrator of Jonathan Roger's new book, The Charlatan's Boy:
"I don't remember one thing about the day I was born. It hasn't been for lack of trying either...I only know one man who might be able to tell me where I come from, and that man is a liar and a fraud."
That liar is Floyd, a flim-flammer just looking for his next big "act" that will rake in the copper coins. His on-going act is in the feechie trade; this act focuses on Grady playing the role of a for-real in the flesh feechie. Everyone in the frontier of Corenwald has heard of the feechies, but no one has ever seen one.
Grady plays one and Floyd cashes in on it. When the civilizers tire of talk of feechies, Floyd and Grady revive interest by creating a feechie scare across the land. The plan works and so business booms again.
Jonathan Rogers has created a world that hints of the American Deep South, with its tales that weave truth and legend. Being a native Georgian like Rogers, I appreciate his yarn-spinning and had to laugh at times thinking of similar type stories I had heard growing up...not of feechies, but of other mysterious entities just waiting to gobble you up in the night (or if they are daring, in broad daylight). Humor and sadness are quilted into satisfying quest for belonging and self discovery. I applaud Rogers for this contribution to Southern literature which is great for children and adults alike.
I received this book for free from Waterbrook Mutnomah Publishing Group for this review.