Coyote Speaks – Cross Country Run
By: Peter Likins
Darby Book, LLC, 978-0997042344, $ 18.00, 2015, 264 pages
Reviewed By: Richard R Blake
Childhood Abuse, Retribution, Recovery, and Ultimate Redemption
Peter Likins “Coyote Speaks – Cross Country Run” captures the plight of Kit Coyote traumatized by the beating, verbal abuse, and hatred of Jake Durkins his foster father. Durkins operated a chicken ranch and foster home in the semi-arid desert of Ajo, Arizona, located about 100 miles from Tucson.
Coach K. from nearby Tucson discovered Kit’s natural gift for running and took an interest in training him in the finer points of running competitively. When life at the chicken ranch became unbearable Kit escaped the horror of hatred and abuse and ran from Ajo to Tucson to the home of Coach K. and his wife Teresa. The Karangetti’s became his new foster parents. Opportunities opened up for Kit during high school in Tucson. He excelled in running and in the sport of wrestling and received a college scholarship at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. A series of bad choices, led to the need to establish a new identity for Coyote: he became a fugitive of the law and fled to California.
Likins writes with a rare sensitivity and gentle spirit that reveal a keen observation of the best in mankind even in light of exposure to the most deplorable and evil of others. This understanding allows him to use the elements of story and a fictional approach to become platform for issues of socio and culture inequity. The realism and striking imagery found in “Coyote Speaks” add a dimension to the elements of conflict and resolution used throughout the story to develop a suspenseful plot and to build character identity.
“Coyote Speaks – Cross Country Run” is timely, especially relevant in light of recent acts of random shooting, acts of terrorism, and international racial and religious tension. This is a poignant story of the impact of childhood trauma on life choices in times of personal crisis.
A complimentary copy of this book was received for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.