Morton, Shane. “Private Waterloos”; ADS, 2017.
I have been sitting on my copy of Shane Morton’s “Private Waterloos” for over a month trying to decide how to review it. Perhaps because so much of what I red here is relevant to my own life is why I cannot seem to get the right words together. Therefore this review might be written with the “wrong words”. Regardless of the kinds of words I might use, it seemed to me that every word in this book was hand chosen to tell the story of Zac that we get here.
Zac was a straight A student, class president and considered to be the most likely to succeed. However, things did not work out that way and when he was 25, he was already a college drop out and back home. He had once been his town’s “golden boy” who could do no wrong and who has moved back home with his parents and his older sister who is at odds with everything he says or does. He is, to put it simply, a lost guy.
This is a story about the South and having been raised in New Orleans, I can vouch for how true it reads (even though I was never a “golden boy” but rather a “pink sheep”). We can only wonder if what happened to Zac was the result of having peaked too soon or the reaction to the hopes that others had placed on him.
The solace he now finds comes from old friends and acquaintances as well as from new friends and Zac’s story is about his own personal Waterloo and of finding his purpose, lasting love, and acceptance from his tragic past. (Aha, you say!!! What tragic past are you speaking of?). As for that tragedy, I am not the one to share that and ruin your read. Aside from the plot that pulls us in on the first page, Shane Morton has created characters that are real, relevant and reminiscent of characters in our own lives. As for the literary genre that this fits into is for you to decide.
I can’t quite think of this as just a read because for me it was a total experience. Be sure to plan your day before you begin to read, however, because once you start you will have a difficult time finding how to stop. Do not be surprised if you find a bit of Zac in yourself. I believe there is a bit of him in everyone. (And yes, I know that I did summarize the plot and that is not because I can’t— it is because it do not want to).