Jim Cole’s debut fiction story depicts racial prejudice, poverty of past permeating today’s society
VICTORIA, Texas – Author Jim Cole marks his debut in the literary limelight with a gripping coming-of-age tale of one rural boy who, amidst life and time’s challenges, triumphs by his own terms and vows to “Never Cry Again” (published by Xlibris). This new fiction book portrays a story of racial prejudiceand poverty of the 1930s and ‘40s that still permeates today’s society.
“Never Cry Again” is the saga of 12 years in the life of a rural boy, born in a bawdy house, living in extreme poverty with his mother in the poorest part of a southern Arkansas town. Drew observes his mother entertaining numerous “uncles.” When one of those uncles becomes abusive toward Drew, and then later attempts male rape, Drew feels he has no other choice than to run away. The 10-year-old boy climbs into a rail boxcar, and the train takes him away not only from the abuse but also from his home and friends, carrying him to an unknown future. Just as things seem their worst, Drew vows that he will never cry again, but instead face life on his own terms.
“Today we Americans have yet to overcome the racial prejudices of our history. This story reflects those prejudices, and describes the intensity of prejudice as it existed in the early years of the twentieth century. The prejudices of those times was more blatant than today, but our current civil rights laws, etc., have only served to subordinate racial prejudice to more politically correct terms, they have not overcome them,” Cole expresses. “None of the foregoing is blatantly expressed in the narrative, rather, the story is written from the ‘show, don’t tell’ perspective, and the reader is left to decide for himself. Positive action always takes precedence over inaction.”
Praised by one critic as “‘Huckleberry Finn’ meets ‘Forrest Gump,’” Drew’s adventures on the way to becoming a responsible and compassionate man, set against the backdrop of America’s Great Depression and the following turbulent years of World War II, is a story that is relevant to the upheavals and turbulence in society today.