Passions and dreams of something that means the world to you are the primary focus of this heartfelt and yet at times tragic story. Two voices are heard, and both are very distinct as you hear them and learn about the love of a great sport, GOLF, you will understand the underlying feelings and dedication of both. Even though this is told through the author’s imagine, it could be considered real life. Gold has always been something I loved to play when younger, eighteen holes or just the golf range sent by blood churning and my energy invigorated.
A young boy is enthusiastic about golf and a homeless man named Jimmy are the stars of this outstanding heartfelt and yet at times heartbreaking novel. The young boy tossed three balls to the green and using the head of the putter, he lined them up and the first at his feet and the second five inches from the first and the fire the father’s way with his feet separate and equidistant and there is much more. His father’s old Wilson 8802 on the green’s surface behind the nearest ball. As you rea the rest you can tell he does not rush his shot, prepares and in a slow and deliberate motion with head back a few inches behind the ball well you read the execution. There is an old man watching him and the banter and talk between them lets you know that he thinks this boy has potential. Comparing how to execute shots it is great to hear a young and older person share a passion.
We need Jimmy who tells us about his past as a caddy and what experiences he had, the trouble on the green the trouble with the groundskeeper and that he vanished. The young boy is concerned as Jimmy is always on the fifth hole and sleeps under the stars at times on the course. But the boss banned him but not before we get to know the amazing and knowledgeable man he is or was about Golf.
I love Nancy and her relationship with the young boy and the fact that she would make sure that Jimmy had food and more. Both the young boy and Nancy worried about Jimmy and wondered where he was. The golfers and the rest could care less but when the author shares how Jimmy helped a man he caddied for and the man should have paid closer attention, I wish he were there when I was on the green.
Jimmy as you learn more about him did not want to be confined and loved the outdoors. I loved the part where we learn more about him, his past and what happens in the bar when he protects the girl but why tell him he cannot come back? The boy was enthusiastic about gold and the author shares levels of player and their scores. The boy spends most of his days at the course and had dreams that did not fall well with his friends and at times he rebelled which was wrong. He must think for himself and not what others want him to do to succeed.
Always hoping for that one perfect shot, the one day he would compete on the green with the pros but then the author reminds us that the caddie Master did not like much handling out jobs to kids, but the author shares his first successes. Jimmy got the nickname Sandman from the fairytale by Anderson where before going to bed , as the story relates the doors for the children’s rooms without making a sound and they would close their eyes children not hurt their eyes sprinkled some fine sand to help them sleep.
His father had the highest aspirations for the young boy to be a great golfer and he wondered if being so straight and well behaved was right but for golf you need to be principled, have integrity and respect for the sport.
You can tell the respect for the sport, and you can understand Jimmy has he is on the 18th green and onto the fairway, looking out to the night and the rest of the great links. You can feel him come alive and the author shares the scenery, the ancient stretch of dunes land that give birth to something far bigger and deeper than a simple game. This stretch of ground in a celebrated town brought him joy. “ Life is not meant to be lived badly.”
The chapter when Jimmy is the young caddie and explains why he’s called Sandman brings the story to a higher level. The young boys talk about him, and he relates Jimmy with Robing Head, the boy said to himself. That’s what he was. He robbed something valuable from those who did not know its true worth and gave it to only those who understood and eh continues with Huck Finn and the Golden Fleece is our Holy Grail, the search for the truth.
What was really heartwarming is his relationship with his mother and how he had honest conversations and her support for his passion as hoping his father would arrange for lessons. He even spoke with her about Jimmy hoping he found a shelter or services but that the reader will be left to decide. Talking about Jimmy, it said he is gone for good. What does that mean? Why would anyone care if he is out there on the course when no one was playing? Why didn’t anyone want to help him? The greenskeeper wanted him thrown in jail. He was harmless and just loved the air, the course and the green and golf.
Too bad they never made him a golf pro. The final reveals and voice of Jimmy lets you know he was a free agent, wanted freedom and wanted Travel. The final pages you must read for yourself and decide where he winds up. The final pages highlight the boy and his passion and remind out others that Jimmy hands out up by the fence but has not been scene. He wonders and shoots, and practices and in his heart and mind hopes Jimmy will appear. The workers finished their work and no Jimmy. What happens to the young boy? What about Jimmy? You the reader will have to decide that as author David W. Berner leaves it to your imagination and wonder.
A story told in two voices, from the hearts of both characters and bringing both to life as if they are talking to you the reader. For the LOVE OF GOLF? For the success of the young boy? FOR HOPE FOR THE SANDMAN?
Fran Lewis Just reviews