Texas Jack Tackles Family Issues
By Bart Hopkins
CreateSpace, $12.00, 204 pages
Texas Jack, by author Bart Hopkins, tells the story of Jack Leonard: Austin, Texas businessman, loving husband and proud father – all miraculous traits considering his family and upbringing. His mother was distant, his father a high-functioning alcoholic who nearly burned the house down and gave 16-year-olds beer on the weekends. Jack gets into his fair share of trouble but when he meets a young woman at a Nirvana concert everything changes. Soon they are married and have a beautiful son. With the perfect woman in his life, Jack can forget about his alcoholic father. But after years of repressing his true feelings for his father sometimes it takes a tragedy to enact true change.
Texas Jack is a good book. Hopkins’ writing style is very conversational, and the reader is able to easily imagine they are part of the scene. The conversations flow easily, and with familiar terminology added in, the reader feels he is truly witnessing a dialogue between longtime friends.
Hopkins also portrays emotions well. There are many moments in Texas Jack when it would have been easy to gloss over what the characters are thinking and feeling in favor of quickly propelling the story along. Instead, Hopkins dives deep into the thoughts of the characters, explaining in detail their emotions and feelings about what is happening around them. Through this emotional exposition the reader is able to gain insight into how the characters are responding to the myriad situations happening around them.
Author Bart Hopkins has crafted a lovely piece of family drama, and tackles the subject of alcoholism and its effect on families with respect. With just a couple of titles under his belt, Hopkins is still a young writer – but one already on his way to becoming a talented and capable author.
Reviewed by Andrew Keyser