Reviewed by Linda Lee
This book was begun as a filler, something to be read between works of greater substance. I'm so glad I read it. It was sweet, nostalgic fun. While the story is set in mid 1950's Columbus, Georgia, it could be relevant anywhere.
Trussel Jones lives with his stepmother after his father's death. His stepmother, aka Shrimp Boat, isn't sure what to do with him. One thing's for sure though, she isn't going to let him get a license to drive her car. Being unable to get a driver's license is just about the worst thing a sixteen year old can imagine happening. Trussel is in love with Ellen, but how can he let her know if he has no way to take her out? Trussel needs to find a way around Shrimp Boat, and he needs to do it in a manner that won't have her suspecting him of trying to kill her. Shrimp Boat has a few problems of her own.
Mr Tillman has a true gift for writing fiction. While reading the book, the movie was running in my head. Words flow cleanly as the story keeps you involved. His characters are believable, and memorable. He writes of relationships as they are in real life, not picture perfect, but in need of Photoshopping before being presented to the public. Characters enter situations and you feel the need to read on to see if they come out intact. The story covers manure flinging, fleeing a motorcycle gang, running away from home, playing the piano, surviving the death of loved ones, and the sweet innocence of first love. It is about a boy growing up and entering manhood without a father. Trussel must face changes without losing his way.
Meet Me on the Paisley Roof is an entertaining read. The reader will be touched in many ways. Your heartstrings are pulled and your funny bone tickled. Alternating somewhere between a catch in the throat and a laugh aloud, you'll enjoy Trussel Jones and company. There should be, really needs to be, a follow up to this story. This reader, for one, would love to read about Trussel's next few years.