"Summer of Light" is the story of Mick Brannigan, construction worker of the high steel beam installation variety, and his family. Mick has a son named Dylan, who has a form of autism that causes him to feel sensory overload and to act peculiar--unless you think licking a teacher's ankles is ok because you like the feel of pantyhose...! (Dylan is only 4 by the way!!)
So, Dylan needs therapy in order to learn to cope with life and to be ready for kindergarten. He needs to be removed from his preschool situation and to be in a controlled environment at home. He needs a parent to stay home with him and his brother and sister.
When Mick gets injured in a freak construction accident (heavy emphasis on 'freak'), he is the one to stay home with the kids, and the comedy ensues. Oh, this is a novel of drama, to be sure, but a stay at home dad, who's a former construction worker, and three kids, one of whom has a disability...there's comedy!!
The incident with the zip line, the penguin dinner conversation, the "invention" of the cleaning out the fridge game...and more, just had me rolling!
Of course, there's the serious side of struggling with identity when we must become somebody we're not. Mick's relationship with Hap and Aubrey is an interesting dynamic. His encounters with the Man With No Hands are eye-opening.
And Mick discovers he has a gift for something that not only gives him new meaning, it reveals so much about what is hidden deep within his soul.
W. Dale Cramer has a knack for creating word pictures that allows you to watch his story develop like a movie of the mind. He also has a knack for creating multi level novels that work on two planes at once.
I loved "Sutter's Cross", his story about a mentally challenged and the judgement of believers with things they don't understand. I loved "Levi's Will", the story of the Amish and their strong family ties and religious beliefs and the story of just how far we will go to be accepted by those we love. I loved "Bad Ground", the story of a young man's journey to self-discovery and an older man's journey to self-forgiveness.
And I loved "Summer of Light", the story of a stay at home dad who discovers life through the eyes of a child, and who discovers the hidden hurts and gifts inside all of us. W. Dale Cramer is one of my "gotta read it" authors, and I hope he becomes one of yours.