Tony, Gina, Jayne and Robin are on the river heading to Pittsburg as this second book begins and picks up right after the first book, Baby Grape and Huskey. Toby is looking forward to getting back to Pittsburg and seeing his mom and sisters. It’s been long enough that he figures everything has been forgotten, the charges against him have been dropped, and that he can go back to his old life. He is sure Gina and the Indian girls, Jayne and Robin, will be welcomed in by his mom and sisters and that things are going to settle down.
After a near death experience in the river at night during a storm, the group finally makes it to Pittsburg. The city has been forever changed and as a result his family has moved on to Toby’s aunt. On top of that, old enemies are back. Being chased by the police and others makes it clear that nothing has gone away. Toby is forced to take Gina and the others and make a run for it again. As Toby matures, his relationship with Gina, Jayne, and the others changes significantly. Those relationships are under constant strain because life in the 1840s can be harsh and unforgiving and their enemies show no sign of going away.
Baby Grape & The River Folk is the second novel in this very good series. It builds on the first and details the further development of Toby as he grows into manhood. Somewhat more graphic occasionally regarding his sexual relationships with young women, this Toby gains confidence as the novel progresses and is capable of making astute business decisions. Progress in the form of civilization is coming to the river and Toby is responsible for a good portion of that.
While the wonder at the world around him may be gone for Toby, so too is the naiveté in this second novel of the series. What remains is another fine tale full of interesting characters, hardship and riches, and plenty of action that also manages to make a time period come alive for readers. In short, this second novel is almost as good as the first and does a good job of keeping the adventure going and readers entertained.
It should be noted that the book is “not recommended for under 13 years old” per statement on back cover. Depending on your particular thirteen year old, this may or may not, be an issue.
Baby Grape & The River Folk: The Second Toby Adventure Novel
New Horizons Publishing Company
228 Pages (Includes 15 page preview of third book, Baby Grape’s Southern Exposure)
Material supplied by the author in exchange for my objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple © 2011