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SHILOH SEASON by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


From the Shiloh Quartet series, volume 2

by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-689-80647-7
Publisher: Atheneum

Seeing Judd Travers illegally shoot a deer gave Marty Preston the leverage he needed to win ownership of an abused dog in Naylor's Shiloh (1991); now Judd has taken to drink and become even more trigger-happy than before, and Marty frets that the man will declare open season on Shiloh out of spite. After homily-heavy conversations with his dad—the wise local doctor and a veterinarian—Marty tries to understand why Judd is so vicious (it's close to parody: Travers speaks almost entirely in wild threats, and Marty sees him wing a squirrel and watch it slowly die) as he explores his own feelings, looking for something better than simple hatred. When Travers suffers a serious—but thanks to Shiloh, not fatal—accident, Marty makes peace with him at last through persistent acts of kindness. The story's focus blurs during repeated discussions of the difference between truth and rumor, and in a series of secondhand reports on a senile grandparent's exploits; the dialogue sounds right out of made-for-TV movies. Still, readers will find Marty's anxiety, and his love for Shiloh, engrossingly genuine. (Fiction. 10-12)