the reading glass critic's review

Title : Scarred
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 108 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1981853316
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1981853311
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 6.1 ounces
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5 x 0.27 x 8 inches

4 glasses rating

A father is forced to confront his past when his life is turned upside down because of anonymous threats and targeted attempts at his life.

Douglas Strait’s Scarred begins with a white man named Grant Ziegler moving into Tony Carson’s, a black man, residential neighborhood. Grant and Tony easily form a friendship and readers start to learn the personalities of the two men, including how they are foils of each other. The most obvious difference between the two is their temperament where Tony is a spark always ready to ignite while Grant is a mellow flow of water. Despite their difference in attitudes, they get along through golf and exchanging favors with each other. Tony’s mundane life is interrupted when evidence of malicious threats starts to occur in his residence. This initiates the spiral of the book’s conflict into an unraveling of Tony’s past and how it is starting to catch up to him.

The narrative of Scarred is simple and straight to the point despite being written in medias res. It is an easy-to-read book because Strait writes in a way that gently ushers readers along the journey of the book’s story. Strait’s writing is also subtle that he is able to insert little hints in setting and character descriptions to imply and foreshadow specific parts of the story without outright spelling
the answers out. Strait’s writing is also to be commended because his details are all useful in providing context, world-building, character-building, and story explanation rather than being just filler words for the book.

Strait’s writing in Scarred may sometimes come across as factual due to the lengths he goes to properly describe the settings and character actions. Readers may also find themselves a little disappointed by the lack of resolution at the end of the novel. The main characters’ flaws, character rationale, and character development were not fully fleshed out because their core issues were not
explicitly addressed nor resolved at the end of the book. There would be no visible or distinct character development found in either of the two. Instead, readers will only find anger and possible regret. However, the lacking character development could serve as Strait’s foundation should he wish to extend the story of Tony and Grant.

Scarred perfectly shows the interrelatedness of various themes of fatherhood, anger management issues, revenge, and racism. The book’s main conflict of revenge is rooted in the consequences of racism and racial tensions. Tony’s anger issues, aside from it possibly being just his nature as a person, can also be attributed to the suppression he has experienced as a black man. Strait reminds readers to face and address mistakes one might have through his novel and shows what happens with inaction. This book is a good read for a digestible exploration of societal themes. Douglas Strait depicts social topics in his novel Scarred while exploring the individual, communal, and societal domino effects of one’s actions and inactions.

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