A Man Too Old for a Place Too Far (The Forgotten Child Trilogy) (Volume 1) by Author Mark W Sasse
What doesn’t matter might really matter once you enter the world of Francis Frick and realize that not everything that happens really happens or did it? Francis Frick is a cynic and his mannerisms are crude, abrupt and downright outlandish. Cold metal is warmer that Francis Frick. Anyone in his wake will get his wrath, anger and worse his only daughter Ruthy seems to be nothing more than an appendage that he would rather lose. Her mother Penelope deserved a medal for putting up with him but before she passed away Ruthy promised to care for her father. Francis Frick is not warm, fuzzy or even cuddly he’s nasty, obtuse and much to Ruthy’s frustration always angry with everyone. At 72 years old this wealthy Manhattan businessman seems to have attracted a white fairy creature named Bee. Bee loves pomegranates and wherever she goes you will find a stack and her eating them. Never sad always up she invades his world, takes him on wild adventures hoping for some reason to try and make him realize that there are things in the world that do not matter yet they do. Finding her flying over his bed at night just how does he wind up on an island in his pajamas with no water, food or shelter? What happens during time, how he fends for himself and tries to get Bee to give him some pomegranates you have to read for yourself as when he returns his maid Vivian and his secretary Penny wonder where he went but he will just says on a vacation. They are loyal to him as well as his assistant Haddock who has many roles and you begin to wonder at times who is working for who. Penny is forthright, loyal and Vivian does everything he needs and Frick just barks orders and everyone listens. Frick’s heart did not soften after coming back from the island so how does he wind up in Cambodia and dealing illegal arms, thinking he’s an arms dealer, making deals, placed in dangerous situations with soldiers and then finding himself once again after learning more about Cambodia, reading up on the country back at home again. Heinrich Ulrich is a dangerous man and he finds himself hoping to never see him again but they have a strange past and one of them won’t let it go. During his time in Cambodia another figure named Ash whose face is often covered with a mask but when revealed is half black and half white was sent to hopefully help Frick learn the meaning of doing better things and good acts for others but will they succeed? Every step of the way his daughter Ruthy and her best friend who works along side of her in the bookstore she owns, worries about her father and gets pushed away or thrown out of his office when all she wants to do if get a father’s love. So, how does he wind up in Cambodia this time and what happens when he meets a Priest, someone named Roman and then the police come and want to kill everyone in the Church? Just why is he there? How does he reconnect with Ulrich and what happened in the past that would bring him into the present and dire danger? Traveling back in time would that remind him of past deeds? Would it change him in the present? When Bee gets fed up with him she makes some valid points that everyone might learn from: What would have happened if they traveled back in time and stopped the bullet from hitting Lincoln? Would that matter? Would everything be different? What about a mother who lost her child and gets the child back? What about a homeless vagabond to get a second chance? What does it matter is a poor mother, who will lose a child, gets a little happiness if the child is save? There are people in this world for many centuries even in our world today that haven’t mattered. What doesn’t matter is of utmost importance. What does matter to him is money, wealth and throwing around his power. What does matter to him is getting other to do what he wants done and not saying thank you or I appreciate you. Is Francis Frick happy?
You literally love Bee and adore Ash as they fight each other knowing that their time with Frick is coming to an end and their mission might not be fulfilled. Bee has a plan for Frick but at times when he calls for her she is not there and at times when she is he sends her away. But, she never gives up on him and neither does Ruthy or even her best friend Rachany who sees to have developed a crush or has hidden feelings for Frick. She seems to be the only person that he warms up to and when they plot and plan to try and make Ruthly happy you won’t believe the lengths he goes to but will it work and why now? He disappears several times; his life is on the line yet he manages to stand up to his adversaries.
This is a story about choices, love, understanding, redemption, forgiveness and hope. But, this applies to not only Frick but Ruthy, Haddock, Ulrich and every character in this novel in some way who has made mistakes, been betrayed and has to find a way to regain the trust in others, learn to trust but one would enact the ultimate revenge.
Author Mark Sasse’s research into the history of Cambodia, Rumania and the scenes are so graphically and visually depicted you think that you are in the jeep with Frick, having guns drawn, in tight places, dealing with arms dealers and thugs along with the soldiers and Frick. Roman meets Frick at a Church that has been taken over by the Police and danger ensues so why does he threaten Haddock to find him and why send two thugs to threaten him if he does not come to a specific restaurant to see Ruthy? Why did he leave her in the past and will she forgive him in the present?
The events that finally bring Frick back to the present let the reader know that he’s unsettled, cannot seem to find a place for himself and after hoping to bring his daughter some happiness, if that works what happens next will shock readers as the ending leaves you wondering the fate of Francis Frick. Someone placed under his desk. Something that creates suspicion and the FBI comes calling On his desk are index cards and what is the significance of them and what does he tell Haddock to do in order to get the information in the right hands and what will it do if they come back at him?
Within the novel Frick finds a young infant so why does he manage to regain the child and just who does he want to raise it? How does he manage to create false identities for the child? Life is odd and even though Bee and Ash are told by their superior that their time is up with Frick, calling themselves vagabonds yet not wanting to let go of him what happens with what is found under his desk? Why does he think he’s dead? What about Haddock and Penny? What about his destiny? Where does Frick wind up? What about Bee and Ash why do they keep coming back to where Frick is? Who is the woman in the apron at the end? “The juice exploded all over her white robe. But she didn’t fret, because she knew it didn’t really matter anyways? Or did it?
Life takes on many meanings throughout this novel as one man named Francis Frick is supposed to learn some life lessons about kindness, understanding, loyalty, family love and just plain learning what really matters. Find out in the second book titled: The African Connection: the Forgotten Child Book. Here’s to Bee and an endless supply of pomegranates. Sometimes you choose a destination that might take you somewhere you never expect. Once again author Mark Sasse creates a story beyond the realm of realism and yet the events are all too real.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine