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Children of the Resolution by Gary William Murning

Children of the Resolution by Gary MurningI read Gary William Murning’s first published novel mid-way through last year, and with his personal workload in promoting If I never, I was quite surprised to see  Children of the Resolution released so soon. It is a very different type of book however, far more personal, and with its semi-autobiographical leaning, it was deemed to fall a little outside of the remit of his publisher Legend Press. This left Gary with the dilemma of either finding a suitable traditional publisher, or taking on the additional work of going down the self-publishing route. In the end he chose the latter and appears to have jumped this additional hurdle rather well; the end product with an admirable standard of proof reading and production quality is now available in print form published by Lulu, and also in Kindle format on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Read on for a full review….

-- Children of the Resolution by Gary William Murning a Review by Des Greene --

Children of the Resolution is a novel about growing up, about equal opportunities, about inadequate leadership, about friendship, about loss, about surviving. It fits a lot into its 267 pages.

The story commences with our main protagonist Carl Grantham in his early forties, recuperating from pneumonia in hospital, and being visited by a mature student named Marisa, who is researching her dissertation on educational reform. During the course of numerous visits to interview Carl, who was born with a form of Spinal Muscular Atrophy, we hear of his introduction to a special needs school called Sunnyvale at the age of five, and his relocation from there to a newly built “integrated”  establishment, The Resolution. Along the way we are given glimpses of his growing friendship with Marisa as the narrative returns from past to present, in a sort of “will they won’t they?” sub plot.

Although that is the basic outline, a sort of coming-of-age story with a twist, what really makes this novel, is the underlying examination of the effects of changes imposed by no doubt well-meaning and motivated people, but which were all too often put into practise by less than adequate foot soldiers. Some of the individual incidents described will make you gasp at the thoughtlessness and lack of care; even more so when you consider that this is heavily based on the author’s own experiences.

Having said that, it is not simply a kick back at authority, or any sort of litany of cruelty and neglect; there are plenty of very caring and inspirational characters who are devoted to Carl and his peers. But it is obvious that they are swimming against a tide of “one solution fits all” leadership both in The Resolution and possibly in a wider political sense.

If the above makes this novel sound like some sort of placard waving protest story, then I’ve given the wrong impression; it comes across more as a travelogue of experiences, friendships made and re-made, and sadly, some friendships lost for ever. Along with the serious underlying points raised, there is much to empathise with in the novel, and so many passages drew a smile and stirred memories of my own school life.

On reading the sleeve notes of Children of the Resolution prior to getting hold of my copy of the book, I wondered if it might have a slightly limited audience, but now I would say it has much wider appeal than I gave it credit for. Perhaps the only qualifying criteria a reader might need is to have actually been a child at some stage in their life!

Already read Children of the Resolution? What did you think of it? Please post a comment below, Novel Suggestions is always keen to hear your opinions.

Novel Suggestions only provides fiction book reviews of books that we personally recommend. We don’t spend our valuable time writing reviews of books which we feel would be a waste of your valuable time!

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