School Library Journal Review of Open Wounds
I thought my time had passed for a review of Open Wounds in the School Library Journal Review but it seems it hasn’t. My wife caught their review on the Barnes and Noble .com site and then looked and found it in the Journal’s October 1 reviews. I’m really pleased with it. Here it is in its entirety.
School Library Journal
Gr 6 10—Seven-year-old Cedric Wymann is raised by an alcoholic, violent father and a stoic, bitter grandmother. Going to the movies with her, he becomes entranced by the sword-fighting scenes in Captain Blood and other films of the day. A chance meeting with a famous swordsman cements his fascination with the sport. Eventually Cid and two friends fight off the neighborhood bullies. After the disappearance of his father and the suicide of his grandmother, Cid spends five years in a brutal orphanage before being claimed by a British cousin who suffered the loss of an arm, a leg, and an eye in the trenches of World War I. “Lefty” becomes a caring father figure to Cid and, along with a drunken, retired Russian fencing master, guides him through the next few years as he learns to fence and studies the great works of Shakespeare. At 16, he is hired to teach local actors how to perform swordplay on the stage. Fate brings his childhood friends back into his life, and they again face the bullies they fought off years earlier, but their tormentors are now under the protection of a wealthy businessman. Of course the final face-off is at a fencing competition. Lunievicz does a good job of portraying the New York City in the 1930s and ’40s that teems with violence and hard living. However, there is a lot going on in this novel. At times it seems too crowded with characters who symbolize many different aspects of the times, but they are generally well drawn and believable. In the end, this is a novel about fencing, and the descriptions of the instruments, the action, and the finely choreographed movements of this elegant sport are riveting.—Karen Elliott, Grafton High School, WI
Thank you Ms. Elliott for reviewing my book and for the good word on it. I’ll take “riveting” as a final word any day.