About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Monday, February 1, 2021

The Right Kind of Fool by Sarah Loudin Thomas

The Right Kind of FoolABOUT THE BOOK

Thirteen-year-old Loyal Raines is supposed to stay close to home on a hot summer day in 1934. When he slips away for a quick swim in the river and finds a dead body, he wishes he'd obeyed his mother. The ripples caused by his discovery will impact the town of Beverly, West Virginia, in ways no one could have imagined.

The first person those ripples disturb is Loyal's absentee father. When Creed Raines realized his infant son was deaf, he headed for the hills, returning only to help meet his family's basic needs. But when Loyal, now a young teen, stumbles upon a murder it's his father he runs to tell--shaping the words with his hands. As Creed is pulled into the investigation he discovers that what sets his son apart isn't his inability to hear but rather his courage. Longing to reclaim the life he abandoned, Creed will have to do more than help solve a murder if he wants to win his family's hearts again.


The Right Kind of Fool is an amazing look at the world of the deaf and it brought back a vivid memory of my youth. A neighbor and friend had an older brother who was deaf and attended the Kentucky School for the Deaf in Danville. This was my first encounter with a young person who wasn't in college who attended a school and lived away from home during the school year, and I was also fascinated with the family's use of American Sign Language. I'm sad to say that there was a derogatory term often used when referring to people who couldn't hear or speak and this young man was proof positive that this was completely wrong! Reading Loyal Raines's story in The Right Kind of Fool reminded me just how far our society has come in understanding and treating hearing loss. 

Author Sarah Loudin Thomas kept me totally immersed in this moving look at a family's efforts to do what is best for their hearing-impaired son in 1934 West Virginia. Loyal's mother and father have totally different views about their son and Creed Raines chooses to live alone in the mountains while Delphy and Loyal remain in their Beverly, West Virginia home. A murder in this small town changes all of this and Creed finally realizes that his perceptions of his thirteen-year-old son and his choice to abandon his family have been foolish, to say the least.

I loved the Raines family and the author's beautiful depiction of their emotions. Loyal's desire to simply belong. Delphy's desire to protect him from being hurt by other people that results in her being overprotective. Creed's feelings of guilt and his efforts to stay distanced from his boy. And then, as a tragic mystery enters their lives, Loyal's joy that his father is with him and they are communicating together!

There are so many reasons for me to love this book. A West Virginia setting that is so similar to my own Kentucky roots, the coming-of-age story of an extraordinary young teenager, a husband and wife trying to mend their marriage, and a mystery that kept me fully intrigued. I can't say enough good things about this amazing book and I would love to see it as a movie! I wish I could give it more than 5 Stars!

I received a book from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars 


I’m a Christian, wife, fundraiser and writer living near Asheville, NC. I grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV. I used to say “rural WV,” but realized that’s largely redundant. I LOVE my home state and the fact that I’m the seventh generation to grow up on the family farm. My love of the Appalachian Mountains informs my writing. I want you to be as wild about these hazy, blue mountains and the wonderful people who live in them as I am.

I’ve been married for 23 years and I not only love my husband, I really, really like him. We started our journey together with three big dogs–Crockett, Precious and Sammy. We now have one small dog that requires more energy than the first three did together.

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1 comment:

  1. I love that Loyal reminded you of a REAL person from your childhood. That's SO special!